November 27, 2009
OAS: We are happy

The Organisation of American States has declared the conduct of this week’s referendum “free and fair”.

OAS Chief of Mission Steven Griner said yesterday at a press conference at Grenadine House:{{more}}

These elections were organised extremely well … We believe that they met, if not surpassed, international standards for administration, organisation and transparency in electoral processes in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

The 14-member observer mission is expected to remain here until the final count is made and the results are announced by Governor General Sir Fredrick Ballantyne.

Griner indicated that on Referendum Day, his team, which represented 11 countries, was able to cover all the polling station at least once.

He said that on many occasions they visited two or three times during the day, where they observed that all polling stations were opened by 8 a.m., with an average 7:03 a.m. opening time.

Election materials were at all the polling stations, and the presiding officer, poll clerks and the political party agents were also present at around 90 per cent of the tables observed at the opening of the polls.

By the time the polls began, 100 per cent of the tables were duly constituted,” Griner said.

There were few allegations during the day, but to the extent that they were, we were able to send observers to the voting centre and help mitigate that situation as quickly as possible.”

According to Griner, his team faced no problems throughout the referendum observation process, and congratulated the Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb and other stakeholders who facilitated them.

He said that following this preliminary report, he would be making an oral report to the Permanent Council of the OAS and then would file a final written report, which would contain a series of recommendations for the Electoral Department.(JJ)