By Radha Motielall
[www.inewguyana.com] – Eight Political Parties were approved by The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to contest the May 11, Regional and General Elections. This was confirmed by GECOM’s Chairman Dr. Steven Surujbally, during a meeting with the Organisation of American States (OAS), on Wednesday, April 15 at GECOM’s Head Office.
In Updating the OAS of their readiness for the elections, Dr. Surujbally said GECOM has already written to the eight Political Parties contesting the May 11, General and Regional Elections, informing them of their eligibility.
He also mentioned that GECOM is on the verge of posting the Official List of Electors (OLE).
Dr. Surujbally further explained to the OAS team that GECOM has already finalized all the Polling Stations to be utilized on Election Day and currently is engaged assiduously in refresher training of Polling Day staff.
The Chairman also indicated that GECOM’s Civic and Voter Education programme is well underway with a variety of advertisements, infomercials as well as public service announcements being published in the print and electronic media daily.
He was keen to point out to the OAS team that GECOM’s television infomercials cater for persons living with hearing disabilities, via sign language.
While at GECOM’s office, the Organization of American States (OAS) signed an agreement with GECOM that clearly outlines the conditions under which the OAS will execute its electoral observation exercise, before, during and after the conduct of the May 11 General and Regional Elections.
GECOM informed that OAS team that it is committed to working within the guidelines of the agreement signed and looks forward to positive electoral observation reportage from the OAS.
The OAS Chief of Mission, Ms. Lisa Shoman, indicated that the organization intends to field a team of about a dozen observers who will be strategically placed across the country during Election Day.
She also mentioned that the OAS representatives should be arriving in Guyana on Tuesday May 5, 2015 and will be staying even after Election Day.
Meanwhile, One Hundred Million Guyana Dollars has been earmarked for GECOM to facilitate the upcoming regional and general elections.
Two contracts for the sum received the Cabinet’s “no objection” on Tuesday, April 14.
The first contact which is valued at $32.8M will be expended by GECOM on infomercials for elections.
The second contract valued at 320,000. USD which is equivalent to about 67 Million in local currency will be used by GECOM to procure sensitive items for the elections.
These items include; ballot papers, statement of polls, tally sheets, ink and other such materials associated with the elections.