ABC countries welcome elections; Call for equitable access to media

ABC countries welcome elections; Call for equitable access to media

Representatives of the American, British and Canadian governments in Guyana have welcomed the announcement of a date for elections by President Donald Ramotar. The President has announced May 11, 2015 as the date when Guyanese will head to the polls for General and Regional Elections.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday,  US Chargé d’Affaires Bryan Hunt, British High Commissioner Andrew Ayre and Canadian High Commissioner Dr. Nicole Giles said elections will serve as a critical first-step towards the return of a fully functioning Parliament.

The foreign diplomats have raised concern in the past over President Ramotar’s suspension of the parliament. While the President has set a date for the elections, he has not dissolved the parliament which means that it remains prorogued.

The ABC countries believe Guyana ought to pay attention to the recommendations of the Organization of American States (OAS) following the 20111 elections as compiled in the Electoral Mission Final Report.

According to the statement, that report 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”, the diplomats noted.

They are also pushing for an issue based campaign which should see the political leaders putting forward their ideas on governance to the Guyanese people.

During an interview with News Source on Wednesday, US  Chargé d’Affaires, Bryan Hunt said “I hope that each of the parties is going to put forward their solutions to the various problems that confront the nation and that media and civil society will talk with the parties about those choices and options that are out there for Guyana to pursue and that what we will see is a vigorous policy debate that gives the Guyanese public a clear choice between policy options so that people vote less upon their racial or ethnic makeup and more upon on what they believe will be the right course for the Guyanese people”.

Filed: 22nd January, 2015

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