[www.inewsguyana.com] – The 20 member Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), which is headed by former Foreign Minister of Belize Lisa Shoman, arrived in Guyana today, Wednesday April 15 as preparations continue for the May 11 general and regional elections.
A press release from the OAS stated that during her visit, the Chief of Mission will sign the Electoral Observation Process Agreement with Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr Steve Surujbally, which sets out the conditions under which the electoral observation will be carried out.
According to the release, Shoman will also hold meetings with the presidential candidates, civil society representatives and representatives of the international community in Guyana.
The release noted that the OAS will deploy a team of experts and observers to witness the May 11 elections and to analyze specific aspects of the electoral process such as electoral organization, campaign financing and the political participation of men and women.
Shoman is an Attorney and is now an opposition Parliamentarian in Belize. She once headed an electoral mission to Jamaica. In 2007 she was appointed Foreign Minister of her country and had previously served concurrently as Ambassador to the United States and Permanent Representative of Belize to the OAS.
During an interview with the Guyanese media in Panama City just before the VII Summit of the Americas, Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Albert Ramdin said the team expects the elections to be peaceful.
“They will try to cover much of the country as possible which will focus on the most inhabited areas…We will be looking forward to peaceful elections and proper conduct of election officers and the people, and hopefully everything will go well.”
He urged political leaders to focus on issues during their campaign and not launch into personal attacks.
“It’s always an exciting time for politics and campaigning and one can only hope the political leaders and candidates will behave in such a way that will be conducive to peaceful elections,” Ambassador Ramdin said.