A Commonwealth election observer group led by the former Prime Minister of Barbados Owen Arthur is in Guyana to observe the upcoming general and regional elections.
Observers arrived in Georgetown on Sunday, 23 February and have begun briefings with key stakeholders, including the Guyana Elections Commission, political parties, civil society groups, the police and the media.
As Chairperson of the group, Mr Arthur said: “I am greatly honoured to have been asked by Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, to lead the Commonwealth Observer Group to the General and Regional Elections, scheduled for 2 March 2020.
“Our Group is comprised of 11 eminent persons drawn from across the different regions of the Commonwealth, including Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific.
“They bring a wealth of experience from across the social and political spectrum with expertise in the fields of politics, election management, law, the media, gender, civil society and human rights.”
This Friday, members will deploy in teams around the country to observe final preparations, polling day activities and the post-election day environment.
The Chair added: “We are aware of the significance of these elections to the people of Guyana and we call on all stakeholders to demonstrate commitment to a peaceful, transparent, credible and inclusive election.”
The group will issue an interim statement on 4 March, before preparing its final report. They will submit their report to the Commonwealth Secretary-General, before it is shared with relevant stakeholders and the public.
A Commonwealth staff team led by Martin Kasirye, Adviser and Head of the Electoral Support Section is supporting the group.
This is the seventh consecutive election that the Commonwealth has observed in Guyana.