Report on July elections to be presented at seminar in Grenada, OAS official tells prime minister

Grenada’s Prime Minister, Tillman Thomas, met at the Organization of American States (OAS) in Washington today with Assistant Secretary General Albert Ramdin, who announced that the hemispheric institution will soon unveil a report produced by its Electoral Observation Mission that monitored the elections in the Caribbean country last July.

The report will be presented to Prime Minister Thomas and the Grenadian society at large during a seminar that is to be held in Grenada. Ambassador Ramdin said the new Prime Minister has agreed to the forum, which will bring together civil society, political parties, the government and all stakeholders, to discuss the outcomes of the election monitoring as well as OAS recommendations contained in the report on Grenada’s July 8 general elections.

After welcoming the Grenadian leader to the OAS headquarters, Ambassador Ramdin explained that the seminar will also provide an opportunity for the organization to hear how the Prime Minister and his government wish to proceed on implementation of the recommendations, and what assistance the organization could lend.

During the courtesy call on the OAS official, the recently-elected Prime Minister, who also met with United States President George W. Bush this morning, exchanged views with Ambassador Ramdin on a variety of issues, among them the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister’s proposal for a political union between that twin-island republic and Eastern Caribbean countries; the proposed European Partnership Agreement between Caribbean countries and Europe; and the status of Caribbean integration.

Ramdin also informed the Grenadian Prime Minister that OAS is facilitating a meeting of the Association of Caribbean Electoral Organizations, slated for Jamaica November 6 and 7, to discuss key issues in the political and electoral processes in Caribbean countries. The Assistant Secretary General said the Jamaican Prime Minister is expected to address that meeting, at which he himself will participate.

“The ACEO will focus basically on the challenges countries are facing in terms of the electoral process, as related to civil registry and voter registration processes, the quality of voters’ lists and issues surrounding residency, dual citizenship and campaign financing,” Ramdin explained. He said many countries have requested OAS assistance in those areas, which have emerged as major issues for the Caribbean region. The Jamaica meeting will also discuss how to strengthen electoral machineries to provide institutions that are independent in terms of financing, appointed officers and their mandates, to ensure they can deliver technically sound elections which can withstand the scrutiny of international standards, Ramdin added.

The Prime Minister and the Assistant Secretary General reviewed OAS-Grenada cooperation as well as hemispheric developments, with Ambassador Ramdin underscoring his appreciation of the Grenadian Prime Minister’s stated commitment to supporting the organization’s efforts to strengthen democracy in the Americas.


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