LGE 2018: So far only local observers approved by GECOM- PRO

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GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield

With Local Government Elections (LGE) scheduled for November 12 and with the deadline for the local observers to be accredited already passed, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has indicated that approvals for regional or international observers have not been given.

This was confirmed when this news group made contact with GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Warde.

While she noted that advertisements were published calling for local observers, it is unclear whether any international and regional observers will be brought on board.

“The commission has not approved for regional and international observers, they approved for local observers, hence the advertisement was specifically for local observers” Warde explained, while outlining further that “I can’t say whether the Commission has ruled out the possibility for international and regional observers, but as of this point that is what they have approved, for local observers.”

That being said, she related that an international observer has expressed an interest in observing this year’s LGE.

As such, she noted the possibility that if the Commission makes a determination to include regional and international observers then they will provide the methodology as to how that will be facilitated.

The move by GECOM to advertise only for local observers is a departure from what obtained at the last LGE which was held in 2016, when the US Embassy and the British and Canadian High Commissions had fielded observer teams.

The deadline for local observers to apply was October 11.

List of candidates in Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils have already been approved, while the disciplined services are expected to vote on November 2.

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