OAS – OEM congratulates Grenada on its strong democratic commitment following general election

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Dickon Mitchell

GRENADA / USA – The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Grenada congratulates citizens and residents on their strong democratic commitment demonstrated in their enthusiastic and peaceful participation in the June 23, 2022, general elections.

The Mission, led by Dr Rosina Wiltshire, International Development Expert, commends the electoral authorities, including all poll workers, as well as supervisory and security personnel, for their dedication, diligence and openness with the OAS Mission.

The Mission, which comprised 15 experts and observers from eleven countries – two of whom worked virtually – visited all of Grenada’s 15 constituencies, from the opening of the polling stations to the tallying and transmission of preliminary results. The Mission visited 190 polling locations in 86 polling divisions during the day and reported that the process was conducted in a well-organized and generally peaceful manner. The Mission was also present during the special police vote on Monday, June 20.

During their observation, members of the OAS Mission noted that polling stations opened on time, poll workers, along with the required equipment and materials, were present at all locations visited, and election officials were knowledgeable and generally meticulous in the execution of their duties. In this regard, the EOM notes that a significant majority of women served as poll workers and political party representatives and applauds their work and commitment to supporting democracy in Grenada. While there were long lines in the morning at many polling locations, voters waited patiently to cast their ballots.

The Mission noted a lack of standardized procedures in some areas but acknowledges the high levels of diligence and efficiency demonstrated by Presiding Officers and other election officials across the board, and their deep interest in ensuring that no eligible voters were disenfranchised.

The Mission also observed instances where polling stations were not accessible, and priority was not afforded to elderly voters, people with disabilities, and women who were pregnant or accompanied by young children. It is essential that all electors have the same opportunities for access, privacy and participation in the vote.

At the end of Election Day OAS observers noted that the tabulation of votes was carried out in accordance with established procedures. By 5:30 PM, election returns were being received from polling stations, consolidated, and published to the general public and a wider international audience through the website of the Parliamentary Elections Office (PEO). Preliminary results were available around 8:30 PM and indicated that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) won 9 of the 15 seats in the parliament, while the New National Party (NNP) retained 6 seats.

In this regard, the Mission observes that women were elected to only 5 seats.

The Mission welcomed the prompt concession made by the NNP as the will of the people became clear and congratulates new prime minister Dickon Mitchell on his victory and that of his party at yesterday’s general elections.

Based on its analysis of the electoral system, as well as the information it has gathered through discussions with national and electoral authorities, political parties, civil society and the international community prior to the elections, and its observations during the special police vote and on election day, the OAS Mission issued its preliminary findings and recommendations.

The Mission thanks the government of Grenada, particularly the ministry of foreign affairs, parliamentary elections office, and all stakeholders with whom it met, for their willingness to engage with the Mission and share their perspectives on different aspects of the electoral process. The Mission also wishes to thank the governments of Canada, France, Korea, Italy, Peru, and the United States for their financial contributions which made this Mission possible.

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