December 17, 2010
Vincentians commended on a peaceful Election Day

Caricom observers have commended the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines on an orderly and peaceful Election Day.{{more}}

The twelve member team of observers who visited the country to examine the general elections process left the country on Wednesday 15, 2010.

“It is the view of the mission that the elections of Monday, December 13, 2010, were conducted in a peaceful manner and the results reflected the will of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and their commitment to democracy,” Chief Elections Officer of Guyana and Chief of the mission Gocool Boodoo said during a press conference on Tuesday 14 at the Sunset Shores Hotel.

Boodoo stated that the mission’s preliminary assessment is that the preparations for the elections were adequate and that the conditions existed for the free expressions and will of the voters.

Stating that polling commenced in a peaceful and incident-free manner, Boodoo added that voters turned out early in large numbers to cast their ballots, without intimidation or hindrance.

“Procedures were fairly consistent and somewhat uniformly followed. The integrity of the voting process was guaranteed and the secrecy of the ballot well respected and protected,” Boodoo stated.

The Mission was deployed in six teams consisting of two members each. The team visited approximately 87 per cent or 183 of 211 of the polling stations on the mainland of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Prior to the Election Day, the team traveled to the island of Bequia, where nine of the ten buildings used as Polling Stations were visited.

Commenting on the reported incidents of violence weeks prior to the Election Day, Boodoo said that the team held discussions with Acting Commissioner of Police Bertie Pompey who Boodoo said was honest about reporting the incidents of politically related crime.

Boodoo, however, stated that these incidents did not have any effect on the operations of the polling day. He added that other concerns were expressed to them by officials and politicians upon their arrival in the country, but the team was satisfied with what transpired on Election Day.

Boodoo stated that detailed findings and recommendations of the CARICOM team, including suggestions for enhancing the Electoral Process will be submitted in the Mission’s report to the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, His Excellency Sir. Edwin Carrington.

He expressed thanks on behalf of the entire mission to the Government and the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the support extended to the mission during their stay in the country.(OS)