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OAS Underscores Historic Participation in December 2015 General Elections in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

  March 9, 2016

The Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) that observed the general elections in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on December 9, 2015, today underscored, in a presentation to the Permanent Council of the institution, the historic voter turnout of 74 percent and the civic spirit with which the elections were carried out.

In the report, the Chief of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM), Jacinth Henry-Martin, said that the participation of female candidates increased compared to previous elections, but noted that they still represented 16.2 percent of all candidates. She also observed the high participation of young candidates, which prompted the enthusiastic involvement of youth in the campaign, particularly on social media.

Among its recommendations, the Mission urged electoral authorities to continue updating the Voters List and further suggested that it also include a photograph of each citizen in order to facilitate and expedite the identification process. Likewise, it recommended that consideration be given to the establishment of an Independent Electoral Management Body comprised of members with a strong technical focus. Furthermore, the Mission reiterated the recommendation of the 2010 OAS/EOM on campaign financing and asked that the OAS model legislation on political party and election financing be followed as a frame of reference.

For his part, the Interim Representative of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the OAS, Omari Seitu Williams, commended the EOM for its work and indicated that his country will review its recommendations. He also thanked the donor countries that financed the Mission: Argentina, the United States, Spain, and South Korea.

The OAS Mission was comprised of 13 observers from 10 countries. They observed electoral processes in 14 of the 15 country’s constituencies, visiting 74 percent of the polling stations. This is the fourth election that the OAS has observed in the Caribbean country.

Reference: E-028/16