Observer mission says results of St Vincent elections reflect will of the people

Wednesday, 13 July 2016 12:26 Written by  font size decrease font size decrease font size increase font size increase font size

 KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Friday December 11, 2015 – Despite claims of fraud and irregularities by the main opposition National Democratic Party (NDP), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) electoral observation mission says it saw no such instances in Wednesday’s elections.

 KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Friday December 11, 2015 – Despite claims of fraud and irregularities by the main opposition National Democratic Party (NDP), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) electoral observation mission says it saw no such instances in Wednesday’s elections.“The mission’s assessment of the day’s activities is that the voters were able to cast their ballots without intimidation or harassment and that the results of the elections reflect the will of the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” chief of mission Gasper Jn Baptiste said in a preliminary statement issued on Wednesday.The eight-member team visited 137 polling stations across 13 of the 15 established electoral districts and monitored the opening of the poll at 7 a.m., the voting process, closing of the poll at  5 p.m. and counting of the ballots and “no major concerns were observed”.It said all stations were fully staffed and most had at least two agents present representing the two major political parties, the NDP and the Unity Labour Party (ULP); the polling stations were, for the most part, conveniently located and easily accessible to the electorate, including the disabled; and all of the supplies and materials needed were present in the required quantities.“Adequate security was in place at all locations with the officers displaying a very professional approach which contributed to the level of calm which accompanied the day’s activities.  In the morning, the turnout of voters was steady, while a diminution was observed in the afternoon and the poll workers remained resolute and steadily carried out the required procedures ensuring that all electors who turned out were able to register their vote,” Jn Baptiste said.The CARICOM observer will prepare a full report for submission to CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, which will include recommendations and suggestions for strengthening the electoral process in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.The main opposition NDP has refused to accept its defeat by one seat. It won seven seats, compared to the ULP’s eight, but insists the elections were rigged in the ULP’s favour.

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