Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation (DECO)

MOE Electoral Observation Mission in Grenada- General Elections, February 19, 2013

Quick Facts

In the upcoming General Election, scheduled for February 19th 2013, Grenada will vote for 15 constituencies among 46 candidates running for the House of Representatives. There are 62,152 registered voters.

As a provision to exerting their right to vote, voters must be aged 18 or over, hold a British Commonwealth citizenship, fulfill residence or domicile requirements. Voting is not compulsory in Grenada.

Grenada gained independence from Britain in 1974; notwithstanding this event, the country has remained as part of the British Commonwealth. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Governor-General represents and is appointed by the Queen of Great Britain, who is considered the Head of the State. The Grenadian political system is based on a constitutional parliamentary democracy that operates on the Westminster model. The country consolidated its democratic model in 1951 with the ratification of the universal suffrage. Following the process of political change, Grenada attained formal independence from the United Kingdom in 1974.

The Parliament which exercises legislative power consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Executive power lies with the Prime Minister and his Cabinet. General Elections are held every five (5) years.

  • Executive Branch
    The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Hon. Tillman Thomas of the National Democratic Party (NDC). Following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or the leader of the majority coalition is appointed Prime Minister by the governor general.

  • Legislative Branch
    Grenada is a bicameral Parliament that consists of the Senate (13 seats, 10 members appointed by the government and 3 by the leader of the opposition) and the House of Representatives (15 seats and members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms). The 2008 election results for the House of Representatives were: percent of vote by party - NDC 51%, NNP 48%; seats by party - NDC 11, NNP 4

  • Judicial Branch
    Local Magistrate's Courts handle limited criminal and civil matters; Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court, consisting of a court of Appeal and a High Court of Justice (two High Court judges are assigned to and reside in Grenada); Itinerant Court of Appeal three judges; member of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ)

Territorial Division

The State of Grenada consists of three islands - Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique - which form the southern end of the Windward Islands. In addition to the administrative region of Carriacou and Petite Martinique, Grenada is divided in 6 parishes: Saint George, St. Andrew, St. David, St. John, St. Mark, and St. Patrick. Formerly colonized for many years, first by the French and then by the British, the islands of Grenada still retain traces of these European influences in their culture, architecture and place names. The Capital, St. George’s, is located on the south west coast of Grenada.

Population and Demographics

Grenada is an island nation that includes the southern Grenadines in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. The country is located north of Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela, and south of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Grenada is 12 miles (18km) wide and 21 miles (34km) long, and covers a land area of 120 sq. miles (440 sq. km), Carriacou is 13 sq. miles (34 sq. km) and Petite Martinique is 486 acres (194 hectares). The island Grenada itself is the largest island; smaller Grenadines are Carriacou, Petite Martinique, Ronde Island, Caille Island, Diamond Island, Large Island, Saline Island and Frigate Island. Most of the population lives on Grenada itself, and major towns there include the capital, St. George’s, Grenville and Gouyave. The largest settlement on the other islands is Hillsborough on Carriacou.

Grenada has an estimated population of 109,011 (July 2012 est.) inhabitants and the capital of the country is St. George's with 40.000 residents. Approximately, 39% of the population lives in urban areas. Ethnically, Grenada is predominantly comprised of African descent (82%). A few South Asians and a small community of the descendants of early European settlers reside in Grenada. About 50% of Grenada's population is under the age of 30.

The predominant religion in Grenada is Christianity: 53% of the population is associated with Roman Catholic, 33.2% Protestant, and 13.8% Anglican.


English is the official language; only a few people still speak French patois.


Grenada’s economy is mainly based on resources obtained from tourism and the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The current composition of the GDP by productive sector is: services 81.7% (2011 est.); industry 13.1% and agriculture 5.2%. Even though the agricultural sector, in particular nutmeg and cocoa cultivation, represents an important source of income, this sector is extremely vulnerable to natural disasters. Currently, the public debt-to-GDP ratio is approximately 110%, which compromises State’s capacity to invest in essential sector and, as a consequence, impedes economic development.

Furthermore, due to the foundations of its economy, the country has been severely affected by the global financial crisis. Since 2008, the government of Grenada has experienced significant reduction in revenues obtained in particular from tourism, foreign investment and inflow of remittances. The two years following the Global Financial Crisis were characterized by economic retraction, exposing a negative economic growth in 2009 (-5.6%) and 2010 (-2.0%). Only in 2011, the country experienced positive growth, reaching an increase of 1.4% of its GDP. Nonetheless, this positive result was insufficient to compensate compounded losses of previous years.