CARICOM impressed by free, fair and transparent elections

— ‘the people of Guyana should be proud of themselves” — CARICOM Observers

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, March 4, 2020

“The March 2, 2020 poll was free, fair and transparent and the [CARICOM observer] Mission expects that the results of the poll will reflect the free expression for the will and aspirations of the Guyanese people.”

These remarks were made by Chief of Mission of the CARICOM Election Observation Mission, Cynthia Combie Martyr.

The CARICOM Election Observer Mission was organised at the invitation of the Government of Guyana, to observe the General and Regional elections, held on March 2, 2020.

The 17-member mission comprised nationals from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

The delegation has been in Guyana since February 24 and has engaged in talks with several key stakeholders including electoral and government authorities, representatives of political parties, trade unions, civil society and religious groups and other election observer missions.

Deployed to approximately 360 polling stations across the country in Regions 3, 4, 5, 6 and 10, the observers witnessed the election process and the conduct of the poll from opening to closing through the subsequent counting of the ballots.

They described this process and free, fair and credible.

Largely satisfied with the pleasant atmosphere of peace and calm amongst electors, the observer mission noted that there was no sign of hostility among the electors on Elections day.

GECOM staff and polling agents were commended on a job ‘reasonably well done’ by Combie-Martyr who cited their experience, efficiency and professionalism.

“This is a demonstration of the level and standard of the training provided by GECOM,” she explained.

Reiterating the smoothness of polling the overseer mission revealed that the polling places have met GECOM standards.

While there were some concerns about access for persons living with a disability to exercise their franchise, CARICOM observer mission said they were impressed by special consideration and additional assistance given by Presiding Officers, other GECOM staff and Election Day volunteers.

“The CARICOM Election Observer Mission is committed to ensuring the preservation of the democratic process and to make certain that every valid vote cast must be counted, to be regarded as a vote for the party of the elector’s choice,” Combie-Martyr related.