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Carter Centre to deploy 40 observers to monitor Guyana’s elections

GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally in talks with Carter Centre representatives.

The Carter Centre is preparing to gradually deploy a 40-member mission to observe next month’s general and regional elections, according to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

GECOM said in a statement that this was indicated by a precursor team of medium term observers from the Atlanta, Georgia-headquartered Carter Centre during last Friday’s meeting with GECOM Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally, when they discussed the strategic directions of their Observer Mission.

Team Leader and Assistant Director, Global Development Initiative, Mr. Jason Calder indicated that the Carter Centre may be looking to establish a core medium observer team of four persons to lead its Mission. He further stated that Carter Centre plans to have six (medium term observers comprising three teams of two persons each which can be deployed by April 22, 2015. The Carter Centre is expected to have at least 30 short term observers deployed closer to the Election Day. A total of 42 persons are expected to complete the Carter Centre’s Observer Mission.

Mr. Calder also discussed a preliminary logistical plan for the three  medium term observer teams which is as follows: (a) One Team to cover Regions 2, 3, and 7; (b) another Team will cover Regions 5 and 6; and the other Team to cover Regions 1, 8, and 9.

GECOM’s Chairman, Dr. Surujbally expressed his satisfaction that the Carter Center is once again taken a keen interest in observing elections in Guyana.   Dr. Surujbally also gave a commitment to the Carter Centre representatives, that GECOM will assist the Team in whatever information requirements they may need. He also advised the Carter Centre representatives to send all plans and other training materials they intend to use, during their Election Observer Mission to GECOM, so that those materials can be assessed by GECOM for accuracy and completeness.

“The GECOM Chairman also asked the Carter Centre to agitate for peace and serenity before, during and after the Elections, and to help explain to the public the need for calm as citizens await the final official results. He further emphasized that GECOM will not be sacrificing accuracy for expediency when it comes to the delivery of the election results,” said GECOM in its statement on the talks.

Representing the Carter Centre was Mr. Jason Calder, Assistant Director, Global Development Initiative and Mr. Pedro Teixeira, Operations Manager. GECOM was represented by its Chairman Dr.Surujbally and Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Francois. 

The Organisation of American States (OAS) has decided to send 20 observers to monitor the polls.