Attorney General meets with visiting delegation from EU Follow-up Mission 2023
The Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall, SC, MP, Attorney General, and Minister of Legal Affairs on Friday met with a visiting delegation from the European Union (EU) Follow-up Mission Guyana 2023 at the Attorney General Chambers, Carmichael Street, Georgetown.
The delegation comprised Mr. Alexander Matus, Team Leader – Electoral Expert, Ms. Anne Marlborough, Legal Expert, and Ms. Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Head of Delegation of the EU in Guyana. Accompanying the Hon. Attorney General in the meeting was Ms. Joann Bond, Deputy Chief Parliamentary Counsel.
During the meeting, the delegation inquired about the progress of Guyana’s efforts at electoral reform, the implementation of the recommendations of the EU Election Observation Mission which participated in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, and offered assistance to aid the process of strengthening Guyana’s electoral mechanisms.
The Hon. Attorney General extended appreciation to the delegation for the follow-up meeting, and for the important role the EU played during the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections to protect democratic and electoral processes.
He informed the delegation of a number of measures since undertaken at electoral reform, including amendments to the National Registration (Amendment) Act 2022 and the Representation of the People Act 2022, which were enacted to correct the deficiencies and fill the gaps within the laws.
“We reviewed what transpired and saw where parts of the legislation were abused, and discretion was exercised in the most arbitrary and capricious manner. Gaps in the legislation were exploited in manners inimical to the electoral process, and we also saw the deficiencies of some of the provisions and the ambiguities that were exploited and led to interpretations that were clearly irrational,” the Hon. Attorney General said.
He also informed the delegation of the over two (2) dozen criminal charges instituted against persons accused of wrongdoings during the elections and of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections whose report was recently published.
The delegation also raised certain additional legislative changes as well as policies and administrative measures which can have a positive impact on Guyana’s electoral process and democratic credentials. The Hon. Attorney General assured the team that the reforms taking place in the electoral arena are a work in progress that will continue.
The Hon. Attorney General reminded that the EU is an important partner to Guyana and that he is grateful for their contributions. He pledged the Government’s commitment to the continuous strengthening of the electoral machinery and improving the democratic architecture of the country for the public good.