Return of intl’ observers ‘outside of GECOM’s remit’ – PRO

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Yolanda Ward has made it crystal clear that that Commission cannot pronounce on the return of international observers.

“I want to emphatically state that this is outside of the remit of the commission,” the PRO told members of the media today.

She further added that “when it comes to international observers there has been an established protocol that international observers go through the executive and once that approval and accreditation have been granted, it is then forwarded to GECOM.”

Ward emphasised that GECOM cannot be involved in advocacy that since steps outside of the parameters of the commission. It was pointed out that GECOM only has the legal power over local observers.

There have been several requests from US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch and a group of US Senators seeking government’s approval for re-admission of the Carter Centre Observer Mission and the International Republican Institute.

However, last Sunday, His Excellency President David Granger, speaking on the matter, asked that the decision not to grant permission be respected since it arose as a consequence of the measures implemented to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

“What the Minister of Foreign Affairs has written and spoken is government policy and I would like people to respect what she has done and abide by the measures the government of Guyana has implemented. We take it very seriously with our measures against COVID,” the Head of State said.