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Observers Will be Invited for Next General Elections, Says PM

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Thursday, January 5, 2006 - Prime Minister Dr Kenny D. Anthony says observers will be invited to monitor the upcoming General Elections in St. Lucia.

The Prime Minister says: “The Government is proud of the democratic traditions that have been nurtured, sustained and upheld since 1997, and in this regard, external observers will be invited to monitor the conduct of our next General Elections.”

He said the observers would be invited, “because I would wish St. Lucia to be a good example of international best practice in electoral behaviour and conduct.”

He noted that seven General Elections have been held since the island gained Independence in 1979, “but no overseas observers were ever invited to monitor the conduct of those polls.”

Prime Minister Anthony said his Government “will ensure that the next general elections are observed by the international community, to confirm that St. Lucia can conduct its electoral affairs without reproach and to reassure its own citizens that it has fully observed democratic norms and practices.”

“This Government”, the Prime Minister says, “will, by its actions, distance itself from the behaviour and practices of its predecessors, and in particular the John Compton administrations, which in the past had denied requests by the St. Lucia Labour Party (SLP), when it was in Opposition, for observers to be invited to monitor the polls.”

No date has been set for the next General Elections, which according to the Constitution, must be called by March 2007.

It has become a tradition of late to have observers for General Elections in CARICOM member-states, but this has never happened in St. Lucia.

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