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OAS Calls For More Accountability of Campaign Financing


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Contact: Rose Marie Harris


Thursday, February 02, 2012 – The Chief of the Organization of American States (OAS) Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) that accompanied the November 2011 general elections in Saint Lucia, Rosina Wiltshire, presented a report today before the Permanent Council that included recommendations to update the voters’ registry and improve transparency of campaign financing, among other things.

Speaking before the gathered representatives of the Organization’s Member States, Wiltshire said the general recommendations of the OAS Mission, from its arrival to the announcement of the results, and included logistical and legislative aspects among the general recommendations presented by the Mission. These recommendations were: the need for the government to undertake an update of the voters’ registry; establish immediately a commission on electoral boundaries to define, based on the April 2011 census results, a more equitable division of constituencies; and approve legislation on campaign financing, specifically rules to prohibit anonymous and foreign contributions.

“There needs to be established a mechanism or institution to control money coming in and out of campaigns, wider access to information for citizens on the use of funds, and requirements for political parties to disclose such information,” said the Chief of Mission, who also mentioned the need to “seriously discuss the issue of voter participation, given the rate of participation, which decreased from 2006”; invite voters to exercise their franchise; facilitate the voting process for handicapped voters with appropriate voting facilities; and promote “a serious discussion on the role of women in politics, specifically whether there is a need for a quota system to give incentives to female party activists,” among other things.

Finally, she congratulated the people of Saint Lucia for their participation and commended efforts “to maintain democracy in the country,”


The Permanent Representative of Saint Lucia to the OAS, Ambassador Michael Louis, gave special thanks to the Secretary General, the OAS General Secretariat and the Mission that followed the elections in his country for their work, adding that the report presented today “provides a constant reminder of the basic principles that cement relationships within this body, that of a system of government that transcends language barriers or economic or cultural differences among our Member States. I refer to democracy.”

Ambassador Louis recalled that throughout the period when Saint Lucia first obtained adult suffrage, its people “have always exercised the right to choose a government of their choice through elections that are peaceful free and fair.” He furthermore said he would “undertake to transmit this report to our national authorities, who I assure you will be looking into the recommendations of the report and see what appropriate steps can be taken.”

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