OAS Reports 85 Percent Voter Turnout in Grenada Elections

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - February 21, 2013

Above: Grenada (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Approximately 85 percent of voters turned out for Grenada’s elections Tuesday, which were swept by the New National Party, according to the Organization of American States.

The OAS electoral observation mission that monitored the vote released its preliminary report on Wednesday, praising the “civil and peaceful manner in which the election was conducted.”

The OAS praised the country’s new voter registration system, which was implemented in a period of 13 months before the election, although it “initially raised some concerns.”

OAS observers visited 100 percent of polling stations in Grenada’s 15 constituencies.

The OAS said it heard concerns from different actors about four political parties not being able to register with the “symbol of their preference,” with issues arising over the procedure to register the symbols.

Another issue of “concern” brought to the attention of the OAS was the issue of early voting by the police, the mark used to differentiate officers’ ballots made it “technically possible to identify how police officers voted,” something the OAS said called for review of the practice.

Continuing a regional trend, the OAS noted its concerns about the campaign finance process.

“The lack of regulations for campaign financing continues to be a concern of the OAS, as stated in the reports of previous missions,” the OAS said. “On the issue of equity, campaign finance regulations do not contemplate direct or indirect public financing nor do they stipulate limits on private sources of income to campaigns.”

The OAS said “key actors” recognized the need to address the concerns, however. The regional body also said the participation of women on political party lists remained “considerably low,” with 19 percent of the 48 candidates that ran being women, and 4 of 15 of those elected being women.

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