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SVG ELECTIONS FREE AND FAIR- CARICOM MISSION

The CARICOM Election Observation Mission for the 5 November 2020 General Elections in St. Vincent and the Grenadines has concluded that the Elections were free and fair and free from fear and that the outcome reflected the will of the people.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves’ Unity Labour Party won nine of the 15 seats contested in the Elections, with the other six going to the opposition New Democratic Party led by Lawyer Dr Godwin Friday.

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The Observation Mission, led by Mr. Anthonyson King of Antigua and Barbuda, issued a Preliminary Statement on the elections on Saturday.  The Mission held meetings with various stakeholders in the runup to the Elections and observed the Elections Day voting process.

The statement read:

“The Mission’s assessment of the Election Day was that there were no incidents of intimidation of voters inside or outside of the voting precincts.  The agents of the parties also testified that there were no irregularities and that the process was generally peaceful and orderly.”

“At the polling stations, the voters’ identification card was collected by the Presiding Officer who called out the name and number of the said voter for the benefit of the agents of the parties. At every polling station the voters were told about the way to vote and how to return the ballot which was inserted in the ballot box by the Presiding Officer. The Mission observed that adequate health measures were in place to protect voters against the COVID-19 pandemic at the polling stations visited. On the day of the election each voter received a mask. Measures were also put in place for more than two hundred voters in quarantine to exercise their franchise.”

“All members of the CEOM agree that the process was conducted according to law and was done without any intimidation or fear.   They also reported that there was adequate security at each location and that the officers displayed a very professional approach to their duties.”

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