New Administrative Structure for Elections Expected

Parliamentary Secretary for Information in the Office of the Prime Minister Sen Winston Garraway has explained that the Organisation of American States decision to pledge financial and technical support towards establishing an Elections Boundaries Commission will result in the total overhauling of the current administrative structure of the Parliament Elections Office.

“For example, under the current structure, the Parliamentary Elections Office falls under the responsibility of the Governor General and the person in charge is the Supervisor of Elections. I believe that once the necessary study and consultation is done, that title will be done away it,” said Garraway. He continues: “When you look at the other territories with Elections Boundaries Commissions, Supervisor of Elections is not used in the administrative structure.”

Last Friday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell held high-level discussions with the Organisation of American States, Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza, and Assistant Secretary General Ramdin, prior to the start of the protocolary session of the OAS member states.

Dr. Mitchell, according to a news release from the Government Information Service, used the opportunity to discuss two areas for which Grenada requires support: constitutional reform — including the establishment of an elections boundaries commission, which is a recommendation of the OAS Electoral Commission following the last three general elections; and in the functioning of the Integrity Commission.

Secretary General Insulza pledged financial and technical support for both initiatives. The Organization of American States is a critical player in maintaining stability and promoting development in the region, and continues to observe electoral processes across the Americas.

The Prime Minister and his delegation, which includes Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Angus Friday, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Timothy Antoine, met with the OAS Secretary General early Friday, prior to the protocolary session of the Permanent Council, where Prime Minister Mitchell was the feature speaker addressing the representatives of the member states.

In his address to the August body, he called for the transformation of the institution. Dr Mitchell said that it is the firm view of Grenada that we can not only address the future that we fear but must address the future we can embrace. He said that sixty-five years after its creation, the OAS is called upon to face bold new challenges and opportunities for our entire hemisphere. In order to adequately respond, the modality by which it operates must adapt to these new realities.

“We therefore ask that in your deliberations on the future of the OAS, that equal weighting is given to the development agenda and to an agenda of hope, growth and transformation. In doing so, we can fulfil the inherent promise for the Americas and for the 900 million people that we serve,” he said while giving the assurance that Grenada’s active engagement as a stakeholder in this dialogue is for forging a renewed and revitalised organisation.

Dr Mitchell said that he is convinced that the OAS has a fundamental role to play as a focal point in the Inter-American dialogue on facilitating innovative approaches to promote the well-being of our citizenry.

by Linda Straker

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