Caricom observer group gives thumbs up to St Lucia pollsWednesday, July 28, 2021
CASTRIES, ST Lucia (CMC) — The Caribbean Community (Caricom) observer team which monitored Monday's general elections that saw the Opposition St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) being victorious, said voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear.
In addition, the Caricom group said that the results “reflect the will of the people of St Lucia”.
The SLP won 13 of the 17 seats in the elections, with the Allen Chastanet-led United Workers Party (UWP), which had 11 seats in the last Parliament, securing only two seats while the other two were won by independent candidates. Chastanet retained his seat.
The 10-member Caricom Observer Group, led by Fern Narcis-Scope, chief election officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Elections and Boundaries Commission, noted that it had also witnessed the advanced polls held last Friday that saw special groups casting ballots.
The group said, too, that its members had also visited a majority of the polling stations across the 17 constituencies, monitoring the polling activities as well as visiting the Parliament, where election commission officials were receiving the election results electronically.
“From observations, the polls were opened in a timely manner in the majority of the polling districts. All the stations observed were fully staffed and most had at least four polling agents present, representing the two major political parties that contested the general election.
“Most polling stations were conveniently located and easily accessible to the voters, though some instances of accessibility challenges for the disabled, elderly and infirmed were noted. The mission observed that there was an adequate supply of the required voting material, which arrived promptly to facilitate the opening of the polls.”
The observer group also reported that adequate police security was in place at all locations visited, with officials conducting their duties in a professional and efficient manner.
“The initial assessment of election day activities by the [group] is that the voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or fear, and that the results of the 26 July 2021 General Elections reflect the will of the people of St Lucia.”
The polls were also monitored by observer teams from the Commonwealth and the Organization of American States.
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