WASHINGTON (CMC) - The Organisation of American States (OAS) has signed an agreement with the Grenada government to observe the February 19 general elections.
The OAS said Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and Gillian Bristol Grenada’s permanent representative to the hemispheric body signed the agreement on the privileges and immunities of observers, “which provides the conditions for the work of the electoral observation mission (EOM) to accompany the general elections in the country.
“This will be the fourth time we have observed elections in Grenada, and I’m sure this election will be as successful as the others,” said Insulza.
The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Prime Minister Tillman Thomas is seeking another five year term in office but faces a strong challenge from the main opposition New National Party (NNP) led by former prime minister Dr Keith Mitchell.
In the 2008 general election, the NDC won 11 of the 15 seats, but the party enters the election with most of the victorious candidates either expelled from the party or have left to form a new party, the National United Front (NUF), which is fielding three candidates in the poll.
Insulza said while preparation time for the observation team has been brief, he was “certain that we will be present in, if not all, at least in most of the 15 constituencies that are being contested in the election by the major parties”.
Bristol said that while her country enjoys the freedoms and privileges of a democracy, “we also know that we have duties and responsibilities living in such a society,” adding that “among those is our civic duty to go to the polls and elect our leaders.
“We are looking forward to the usual vibrant campaigning period, although it is short, but also to an excellent turnout on February 19 in the entire tri-island nation that is Grenada, Carriacou and Petit Martinique,” the diplomat said.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat is also expected to announce that it would also be sending an observer team to monitor the election.
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