Elections in Suriname Marked by Civility, Respect and Professionalism

OAS…May 28 2010 – The Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) of the Organization of American States (OAS) that accompanied the general and local elections in the Republic of Suriname today highlighted the civility, professionalism and democratic commitment that characterized Tuesday’s Electoral Day in the Caribbean country.

The Chief of the EOM in Suriname, Irene Klinger, reported that 26 OAS observers were present in close to 90 percent of the voting places in the ten districts of the country, and they reported on the development of the elections from the beginning of voting at 7:00 hours to the final counting in various voting places after closing at 19:00 hours.

“We are very pleased with the overall development of the elections, mostly the high volume of citizen participation, the calm environment that characterized the elections and the harmony and respect we were able to witness among representatives of the various political parties,” said Klinger, who also added that “this was a true celebration of democracy.”

In a preliminary report on the work of observation, Klinger highlighted the effective role of those in charge of polling stations, the vast knowledge of voters with the electoral process and their responsibility as citizens. “It is also important to highlight the role of women working as chairs and members of the polling stations, although that representation is still not reflected in the political parties’ lists of candidates,” Klinger said.

Other issues such as the expediting of the vote counting, the procedures for the participation and assisting of voters with disabilities and the best way to conduct elections taking into account weather conditions will be included in the recommendations of the report to be presented soon to the representatives of OAS Member States.

Since 1991 the OAS has been observing electoral processes in Suriname. OAS Electoral Observation Missions seek to contribute to the strengthening of democracy in the Americas through free, fair, participatory and transparent elections.

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