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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Thursday, November 24, 2011 – A seven-member observer mission from the Organisation of American States (OAS), has arrived on island ahead of Saint Lucia’s General Elections scheduled for Monday September 28, 2011. 

The mission, led by CARICOM Advocate for Gender Justice, Dr Rosina Wiltshire, will carry out various observations, before, and during the elections, to ensure that the process is carried out in accordance with Saint Lucia's election laws. 

OAS Country Representative Anne-Marie Blackman says, the head of the observer mission will sign an agreement with the Electoral Department on   Thursday November 24, which will provide the observer mission access to the election machinery.

 “We had the signing of The Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Observer Mission, which lays out the ground work under which the observers enter Saint Lucian territory and begin to observe the elections. 

“We have rights and we also have responsibilities. For example, our premises cannot be violated, and we can go anywhere in the country; but by the same token, we must also observe the laws of the country and act respectfully.”    

Blackman says the second agreement between the chief of the observer mission and the chairman of the Electoral Commission will be signed on Friday, November 25. The agreement, she says, “will allow the observers access to the election machinery itself so that they can enter polling stations and observe the proceedings from the closest vantage point”. 

This is the second consecutive time that election observers have been invited to monitor general elections in Saint Lucia. 

The OAS' country representative says the observers play an important role in the upcoming general elections.      

“Basically, members of the observer mission will be talking to all sectors of the Saint Lucian society. On election day they will be looking at the election process to see how the elections are being conducted: the environment, whether or not the elections are being conducted in accordance to election laws in Saint Lucia, and those types of things, ” Blackman explained. 

Following the elections, the OAS Observer Mission will issue a report on the conduct of Saint Lucia's elections. 

In addition to the OAS' Observer Mission, Saint Lucia`s General Elections 2011 will also be monitored by teams from the Commonwealth Secretariat, and CARICOM.

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