Joint Statement on President Ramotar’s Announcement of National and Regional Elections

Dr. Nicole Giles, High Commissioner, Canadian High Commission
Andrew Ayre, High Commissioner, British High Commission
Bryan Hunt, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy

Georgetown – The United States of America, Canada, and the United Kingdom welcome President Ramotar’s announcement that national and regional elections will be held in Guyana on May 11, 2015.  Elections are a critical first-step towards the return of a fully functioning Parliament.

We note the great strides made by Guyana during the 2011 general and regional elections.   The Organization of American States (OAS) Electoral Mission Final Report, which referenced the Mission with observers from 14 countries, applauded significant efforts made by the Guyanese Electoral Commission (GECOM) to execute an overall inclusive and clean electoral process. The report mentioned the “high level of training and dedication exhibited by GECOM staff in the polling centers.” These views were also endorsed by the Commonwealth observation team. The report also noted areas of improvement to make subsequent elections more efficient and fair. We hope Guyana considers these recommendations, including: improving mechanisms that guarantee more equitable access to media and political financing, adherence to timely and standardized procedures for the electoral process, improving communications with all stakeholders in particular GECOM, and strengthening the promotion of gender balanced participation throughout the electoral process.

We are hopeful that the upcoming electoral process will allow the Guyanese people to debate the important issues that are facing the country. We are committed to working with GECOM, all political parties, and civil society to support free, fair and peaceful elections.