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Commonwealth Secretariat to assist SVG’s electoral office

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The Commonwealth Secretariat is to provide technical assistance to the Electoral Office for the further strengthening of democratic practices and principles in St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).

Simon Gimson, the director of the political division of the Secretariat, in a letter to Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay said the Secretariat would assist in (i) a review of legislation governing the electoral system, (ii) the development of a national voter education programme{{more}} and (iii) the training of personnel to form the core of a public relations and communications unit within the Electoral Office.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves disclosed the contents of the letter dated September 16, at a press conference on Tuesday. He said following the December 2015 general elections, the permanent secretary with responsibility for electoral affairs and the supervisor of elections had asked for his direction in relation to any assistance from the Commonwealth Secretariat based on recommendations coming out of the report of the Commonwealth Expert Group.

“The Secretary General is pleased that the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Electoral Office saw value in the deployment of the Commonwealth Expert Group to the general election in December 2015 and the subsequent arrangements with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The Secretary General has noted your request which was sent on the direction of the honourable Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines for the assistance of the Commonwealth Secretariat to strengthen further democratic practices and principles in St Vincent and the Grenadines,” Gonsalves said, reading from Gimson’s letter.

Gimson said the political division of the Commonwealth Secretariat will be in touch with the Electoral Office to discuss the way forward and to identify suitable expertise for the project.

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