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OAS Observation Mission to Grenada Presents Report on Elections of February 19 to the Permanent Council

  June 12, 2013

The Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS) today congratulated the people and government of Grenada for the civic commitment shown in the general elections of February 19, after receiving the report of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the hemispheric institution that was present during the elections in the Caribbean country, in a meeting which also acknowledged the Permanent Representative of Mexico, Joel Hernández, who is ending his assignment to the organization.

The Chief of the EOM of the OAS in Grenada, Ambassador Joshua Sears, highlighted the high turnout (87.6 percent) in the general election, and said that "this is a clear indication that electoral democracy has developed firm roots in Grenada.” ”In particular, the Mission would like to highlight the peaceful and orderly manner in which electors conducted themselves, exhibiting a great level of commitment towards democratic values,” added the Chief of the EOM in Grenada.

"The Mission also commends the work of the Parliamentary Elections Office, the Grenadian Police and all public servants mainly responsible for organizing and administering the election, political parties, the media and members of civil society for contributing to the development of a smooth, orderly and peaceful electoral process,” said Ambassador Sears, upon reading the conclusions of the Report.

In its Report, the Mission recommended to the government of Grenada a comprehensive review of the electoral legal framework; the enactment of campaign finance regulations; the promotion of women’s participation in the electoral process; and strengthening the work of the Parliamentary Elections Office.

The delegation of the hemispheric institution consisted of 18 international observers from 13 countries, who visited one hundred percent of the 237 voting centers in the country’s 15 constituencies. The Mission arrived in Grenada on February 11 and concluded its activities on February 21, said Ambassador Sears, who stressed the peaceful atmosphere and the absence of violence in the days before the election, which were won with 58.75 percent of the votes by Keith Mitchell, who assumed office as Prime Minister on February 20.

The Alternate Representative of Grenada, Patricia D.M. Clarke, welcomed the report of the EOM and recalled that the organization has carried out four electoral observation missions since the Caribbean country became independent in 1974. "This is certainly something that signals the absolute importance of the OAS as a partner in strengthening the democratic processes in all of our countries across the Americas," said the representative of Grenada.

The Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza, expressed his gratitude to Ambassador Sears and praised his work at the head of the EOM in Grenada. The head of the hemispheric organization noted that the work of Ambassador Sears was enriched by his past as the Permanent Representative of The Bahamas to the organization.

Farewell to the Representative of Mexico

In another agenda item, the Council paid an emotional tribute to the Permanent Representative of Mexico, Joel Hernández, who finished his assignment to the OAS. The Permanent Representatives praised his ability to seek consensus, his knowledge and the diplomatic skills of the Mexican representative, to whom they bade farewell with a standing round of applause. The Secretary General called Ambassador Hernandez a "relevant and important personality" and "a brilliant Ambassador of Mexico in our organization." The OAS leader highlighted his role "throughout the process of strengthening our Inter-American System of Human Rights. Everyone must leave a legacy, and this is the legacy that Joel Hernández left."

For his part, Ambassador Hernández expressed his gratitude for the support given to his work by fellow Council members, the staff of the General Secretariat and his mission, and said that "Mexico sees at the OAS a space for the promotion of democracy and respect for human rights, multidimensional security, and international cooperation for development. But we also want to be realistic: there are tasks for which the OAS is and will remain irreplaceable; but there are other tasks that other agencies are better equipped to perform."

The representatives of Argentina, Grenada, Brazil, Haiti, Chile, Peru (on behalf of ALADI), Ecuador, the United States, Colombia, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, Paraguay, Venezuela, Canada, Jamaica (on behalf of CARICOM), Dominica, Costa Rica (on behalf of SICA), Nicaragua, Uruguay, Antigua and Barbuda, El Salvador, Guatemala and Barbados took the floor during the meeting. The Permanent Observer of France and the Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights also took the floor.

A gallery of photos of the event is available here.

The video of the event will be available here.

The audio of the event is available here.

For more information, please visit the OAS Website at

Reference: E-239/13