US Govt assisting GECOM with voter education – Ambassador

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United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch has announced that a number of US agencies have come on board to assist citizens with voter education as part of the ongoing electoral process here.

On the sidelines of an event on Friday, she indicated that United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department and other agencies agreed to lend support after requests were made by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

“The State Department and USAID is providing assistance, primarily towards voter education, both in Georgetown and along the coast, but also in the hinterland. This is a very important part of the process and we’re thrilled that GECOM invited us in to assist. We’re aiding and assisting as best as we can,” the diplomat told reporters.

USAID was independently established by the US Federal Government, primarily for the purpose of administering civilian foreign aid and development assistance.

Meanwhile, a number of international observers have applied to scrutinise the entire electoral process in the lead up to and after the March 2, 2020 Regional and General Elections. After some delay, a number of international observers have been approved to ensure that the 2020 elections are free, fair and credible.

Chairperson of GECOM (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh

Chairwoman of GECOM, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh had shared that the Commission welcomes the international observers, noting that they are critical to the process.

In September, officials from the Carter Center would have visited to gain perspective on Guyana’s situation. Following a meeting with the Attorney General, Basil Williams, the Center’s Associate Democracy Programme Director, Brett Lacy told reporters that the organisation is trying to get the various perspectives of the current situation.

“I can say from the Carter Center, we are really just here to listen and we are hoping to meet with different actors to understand everyone’s perspective on current events here in Guyana,” Lacy had said.

Shortly after, the team met with Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo where many matters were discussed, including the “conduct of elections, credible elections and early elections”. He had also facilitated discussions with the ABCE Chief of Missions which included Ambassador Lynch; Deputy British High Commissioner, Ray Davidson; Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chatterjee and Deputy Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Guyana, Philippe Coessens.

GECOM also confirmed that the European Union (EU) would be fielding an observer team for the polls.

Government-nominated Commissioner, Charles Corbin was quoted as saying, “The EU team visited. They have engaged with the Government. And they have indicated they’re prepared to mount an observer mission. And basically, they have been engaging with other stakeholders in Guyana.”