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Preliminary Statement of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission for the General Elections of September 16, 2021 in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas

  September 17, 2021

The full preliminary statement is available here.

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) present in the Commonwealth of The Bahamas for the General Elections of September 16, congratulates citizens on their democratic commitment, as displayed during the Advanced and Overseas Polls on September 9 and on Election Day, September 16.

The Mission, which was led by Dr. Denis G. Antoine, comprised 18 experts from 9 countries – four of whom worked virtually.

On Thursday, September 9, members of the Mission observed the conduct of the Overseas Poll at the Consulate of The Bahamas in Washington DC. On Election Day the team was present in 32 of the country’s 39 constituencies and observed the conduct of the poll from the opening of polling stations, through to the counting of ballots and the transmission of results. The Mission also engaged in a substantive analysis of critical aspects of the electoral process, including electoral organization and technology, electoral registries, political finance and the political participation of women.

In light of the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Mission employed strict precautionary measures, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment and social distancing for all stakeholder engagements and during its observation work. In compliance with the sanitary regulations in-force in The Bahamas, members of the team who travelled to the country were all fully vaccinated and completed all requirements necessary for the issuance of the Bahamas Travel Health Visa. This included proof of their vaccination status along with the submission of negative COVID-19 PCR tests prior to travel and upon arrival in the country.

During its deployment the Mission engaged with key stakeholders, including electoral and government authorities, political parties and candidates, civil society actors, the international community and other international electoral observers, to learn about the preparations for the process and to hear different perspectives on the elections. The Mission’s experts also analysed relevant electoral legislation, regulations, processes and procedures to ensure a full understanding of the current context.

In these conversations and in its analysis of the electoral environment, the OAS Mission noted that there had been very limited progress in The Bahamas in implementing the recommendations of previous OAS Missions . This was particularly evident in the areas of the political participation of women and campaign finance.



The full preliminary statement is available here.

Reference: S-008/21