ST GEORGE’S, Grenada, Wednesday March 14, 2018 – An Organization of American States (OAS) Electoral Experts Mission has recommended the introduction of political party and campaign finance regulations to promote transparency and accountability in Grenada’s electoral processes.
The recommendation was one of several made by the six-member group of experts who observed yesterday’s general elections in which the incumbent New National Party (NNP) won all 15 seats up for grabs.
A preliminary report issued by the mission that was led by OAS Assistant Secretary General Nestor Mendez, noted that Grenada had no specific legislation or regulations that directly address the issue of campaign financing.
“There is no public funding for political parties or candidates, so that electoral campaigns must be privately funded. The origin of private funds is not regulated and there are no prohibitions on foreign and anonymous sources. Grenada has established no limits on campaign spending and political parties are not required to disclose their finances,” it stated, adding that most persons with whom the mission spoke were uncertain about the origins of resources for the election and whether this might have influenced the outcome of the elections in any way.
“Recognizing that unregulated financing from unidentifiable sources has the potential to impact the equity of the democratic process, and in order to promote transparency and accountability in electoral processes in Grenada, the mission reiterates the recommendations of previous OAS Observation Missions, that the Government of Grenada, along with other appropriate stakeholders, consider political party and campaign finance regulations that establish clear limits on campaign spending, require political parties to disclose their sources of funding, prohibit anonymous and foreign donations, and limit private and in-kind donations to political and electoral campaigns.”
The mission said it was pleased to note that, due to the number of female candidates nominated by the winning party, preliminary results suggest that women will now comprise almost the House of Representatives. The NNP had put forward six female candidates.
However, the mission said that in order to achieve true parity in women’s political participation in Grenada, authorities should consider introducing temporary legal measures, such as a gender quota. It also recommended that political parties and other stakeholders collaborate to develop programmes that promote women’s participation and leadership in politics
In its report, the mission also commended the people of Grenada on their continued commitment to democracy, as demonstrated in their peaceful and enthusiastic participation in the elections. It further congratulated the NNP government on winning another term in office.