October 21, 2005

Commonwealth Secretariat will not send observer team

The Commonwealth Secretariat will not be sending an observer team to St.Vincent and the Grenadines for the upcoming General Elections.

This was disclosed on Monday, October 17, when Donald McKinnon, Commonwealth Secretary-General wrote to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves informing this country’s leader that the Commonwealth Secretariat will not be able to meet his request. {{more}}

On October 3, 2005, Dr.Gonsalves wrote to the Commonwealth Secretariat requesting that they send an observer team to monitor the elections.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, McKinnon stating the reasons why a Commonwealth observer team will not be able to come here wrote: “We have received many requests for observer teams from various member states during the upcoming months and next year. Our resources for such observation are limited and we seek to focus them on those member countries who are facing particular challenges or transitional moments in their democratic development.”

McKinnon added that he was confident that St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ elections will be adequately observed and monitored through the existing mechanisms and the presence of observers from CARICOM and the Organization of American States.

He promised to follow the progress of the elections closely and stand ready to receive requests for other forms of assistance, including support to the Electoral Commission, as needed.

McKinnon stated as Dr. Gonsalves rightly pointed out, St.Vincent has a reputation for holding free and fair

elections, and an established National Monitoring and Consultative Mechanism.