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Members of the Commonwealth observer group inspecting poll sheet

Commonwealth to observe elections in Guyana

21 February 2020

The Commonwealth will observe the upcoming General and Regional Elections in Guyana, scheduled for 2 March.

Secretary-General Patricia Scotland announced the deployment of the 11 person Commonwealth Observer Group following an invitation from Guyana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Commonwealth Observer Group

The Secretary-General said: “These elections are taking place at a critical moment in Guyana, and the deployment of an observer group is a demonstration of the Commonwealth’s commitment to supporting electoral democracy in member countries.

“Election observation is a core Commonwealth role undertaken with impartiality, independence and transparency.”

The observer group, chaired by Owen Arthur, former Prime Minister of Barbados, will consider all aspects of the election process and determine whether the elections are conducted to the democratic standards to which Guyana has committed itself.

It will also offer recommendations on how electoral stakeholders can further strengthen democratic processes.

Election observation in Guyana 

The Commonwealth has a long history of observing elections in Guyana, having been present for the all six general elections held since 1992.

Candidates will be contesting 65 seats in the National Assembly. Twenty-five will be elected via geographic constituencies, while 40 will be elected from a National Top-Up List.

Commonwealth Observer Group members

  • Rt Hon Owen Arthur, Former Prime Minister and Professor, Barbados
  • Ms Lebrechtta Nana Oye Bayne, Social Economist and Gender Expert, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Sir Gerald A. Watt KCN QC, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Antigua and Barbuda
  • Ms Lisa Shoman, Former Foreign Minister, Tribunal Judge and Senior Counsel, Belize
  • Ms Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer, Belize
  • Mr John Hendra, Former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, Canada
  • Hon Gitobu Imathiu Imanyara, Former MP, Kenya
  • Ms Mitra Vasisht, Ambassador of India (Retired), India
  • Ms Sarah Fradgley, Media Expert, New Zealand
  • Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director, Centre for Policy Alternatives, Sri Lanka
  • Mr Stephen John Hiscock, Retired Diplomat, United Kingdom