The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Election Observer Mission (CEOM) has conducted initial assessments and has met with key stakeholders as the 13 March General Election in Grenada draws near.
The CEOM, led by Chief of Mission Pauline Welsh, Director of Legal Affairs, Development and Research, Electoral Office of Jamaica, met with the Supervisor of Elections, the Commissioner of Police as well as the Conference of Churches, the Chamber of Commerce, the Council for the Disabled and the Grenada National Organisation of Women, as it assesses the pre-election environment in the CARICOM Member State.
In a preliminary statement released on Friday, the Mission said it also paid a courtesy call on Dr the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and with Nazim Burke, Leader of the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress. Meetings were also planned with other political parties and stakeholders to obtain an overview of the general atmosphere and their level of preparedness for the election.
According to the statement, the CEOM will continue to observe the pre-election period and the Election Day activities including the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results.
The CARICOM Election Observer Mission to Grenada includes nationals of The Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, supported by 2 members of staff from the Secretariat.
Arrival statement: CARICOM election observation mission to the general elections of Grenada, 13 March 2018
In a letter dated 3 January 2018, Dr the Rt Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, wrote to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), His Excellency Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, inviting CARICOM to mount an Election Observation Mission (CEOM) to Grenada. In response to the invitation, the Caribbean Community mounted an eleven-member Election Observation Mission to observe the General Elections of Grenada scheduled for 13 March 2018.
The CEOM is headed by the Chief of Mission, Pauline Welsh, Director of Legal Affairs, Development and Research, Electoral Office of Jamaica. Other members of the CEOM includes:
- Philip Turner – The Bahamas;
- Dianna Greenidge – Barbados;
- Gordon Clarke – Guyana;
- Brendalyn Henry – Jamaica;
- Kenya James – Saint Lucia;
- Dora James – St. Vincent and the Grenadines;
- Dr Jennifer Van Dijk-Silos- Suriname;
- Ravi Ray Lochan, Trinidad and Tobago.
The CEOM is supported by Brian Bellevue and Serojnie Seetaram of the CARICOM Secretariat.
The role of the CEOM is to observe the electoral process, collect qualitative and quantitative information regarding the voting process and the results to facilitate the preparation of a Final Report on the General Elections of Grenada.
The Chief and support staff of the CARICOM Secretariat arrived in Grenada on 7 March 2018 while the remaining observers arrived on 8 and 9 March 2018. Since arrival, meetings were held with the Supervisor of Elections, the Leader of the National Democratic Congress and the Commissioner of Police. The CEOM has also paid a courtesy call on Dr the Rt. Honourable Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada.
Additionally, the Chief of Mission and support staff has held meetings with key stakeholders including the Conference of Churches, the Chamber of Commerce, the Council for the Disabled and the Grenada National Organisation of Women to gather information and discuss issues that have emerged in the process.
Over the next few days, the mission is planning to meet with other political parties and stakeholders in an effort to obtain an overview of the general atmosphere and level of preparedness for the election.
The CEOM will continue to observe the pre-election period and the Election Day activities including the opening of the polls through to the tabulation and announcement of the results.
Following the conclusion of the Election Day activities on 13 March 2018, a Preliminary Statement will be issued outlining the Mission’s initial assessment of the process. The Mission will thereafter collaborate in the preparation of a Final Report on the election for submission to His Excellency Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community.
The CEOM is appreciative of the warm welcome which has been extended to the Mission by the People of Grenada and looks forward to the successful conclusion of the electoral process.
Pauline Welsh, Chief of Mission