The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of American States (OAS) have deployed electoral observer missions to monitor General Elections in Grenada on March 13.
The Director of Legal Affairs, Development, and Research for the Electoral Office of Jamaica, Pauline Welsh, has been appointed as the head of the Caricom Election Observation Mission, according to the Jamaica Observer. Accompanying her will be Brendalyn Henry, the regional manager of EOJ who will serve as a member of the Caricom team, and Earl Simpson, Deputy Director of Elections who will serve as a member of the OAS Observation Mission’s technical team.
The EOJ emphasized that Welsh, Henry, and Simpson have a wealth of experience in electoral administration and management. Also, Welsh and Simpson have participated as electoral observers on many missions.
Nestor Mendez, the OAS’ Assistant Secretary General, will head the Electoral Experts Mission for his Organization. Mendez arrived in Grenada on Wednesday and will lead a team of six experts from Belize, Jamaica, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.
Alex Phillip, the OAS’ Chief of Mission and the Supervisor of Elections, will sign the Electoral Procedures Agreement which establishes the framework for the work of the Mission in Grenada on Thursday.
The OAS’ Experts Mission will focus on analyzing critical aspects of the electoral process including the electoral registry, electoral organization and technology, and campaign financing. The team will also gather information about the status of the recommendations made by the OAS Mission to the 2013 elections.
The electoral observation missions will be conducted from March 7 to 15.
Forty-five candidates have been nominated for Grenada’s parliamentary elections, slated for March 13.
Most of the candidates are in one of two political camps, the first being the ruling New National Party, or NNP, led by incumbent Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell. The second is the main opposition, the National Democratic Congress, or NDC, led by Nazim Burke.
The NPC and NDC each nominated 15 candidates on Nomination Day.
In Grenada, which has a parliamentary system, elections are won based on the number of constituencies won rather than the total number of popular votes.