Several organisations asked to oversee Guyana’s elections – Foreign Minister

Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett

[] – Minister of Foreign Affairs Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett declared that it speaks volumes for a country and its people when an international organisation says that its elections were ‘free and fair’ and ‘free from fear.

During her interview on State TV recently, she explained that ‘international observation’ is very important for the up-coming elections and noted that since 1992, “there have always been observer missions in Guyana, and 2015 will be no different.”

She asserted this stance, indicating that President Donald Ramotar has already informed the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS), Caribbean Community (CARICOM), and the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) that Guyana will be requesting their overseeing roles. She added that this message came from the very time when prorogation was enacted on November 14, 2014.

Touching on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the minister highlighted that the entity did the usual, that is, it requested the United Nations (UN) to come in and look at the systems and to see if the country is prepared for the May 11 General and Regional Elections, as it is important to have the Body give a vote of confidence to the systems in place.

According to her, the UN mission is important in assisting Guyana, as it moves towards elections. She stated that she is sure that the visiting members would have already conveyed their observations to GECOM, as they did meet with her in her capacity as Guyana’s Foreign Minister, President Ramotar, and other major players within the fraternity of the election framework.

It should be noted that the UN does not necessarily observe elections, as in the case of the Commonwealth or CARICOM, but can do so “in circumstances when the General Assembly or the Security Council so approves. [Extracted and modified from GINA]