Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' citizens headed to the polls on Thursday in general elections to decide the new government.
Vincentian PM Ralph Gonsalves Calls November 5 Election
In total, 33 candidates are contesting the elections to decide 15 seats in the National Assembly. Current Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves from the United Labor Party (ULP) faces opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) candidate Godwin Friday to secure a fifth mandate.
Polling stations are set to close at 17:00 local time, thereafter about 240 confirmed COVID-19 patients will be allowed to cast their vote in observance of preventive health measures.
According to the Electoral Office, 98,119 citizens are eligible to cast the ballots, which represents an increase of over 8,500 voters compared to the 2015 elections.
Gonsalves has participated in every general election in the country since its political independence from the U.K. in 1979. In 2015, the Labour Party secured 8 seats in the Parliament, while the NDP reached 7.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has sent an Observation Mission made up of 6 members in order to support the electoral process. Official election results are expected to be announced on Friday morning.
The country assumes the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council this month, thus becoming the world's smallest state to hold that responsibility.