The American, British and Canadian Diplomats in Guyana met at the Canadian High Commission in Georgetown on Monday afternoon to reinforce their joint statement that Friday’s Local Government Elections were transparent, free and fair.
United States Ambassador Perry Holloway, British High Commissioner Greg Quinn and Canadian High Commissioner Pierre Giroux, all agreed that nothing was observed that would call into question the integrity and accuracy of the elections.
High Commissioner Quinn said the diplomatic team of observers has agreed that they were satisfied with the elections process.
He told reporters that some problems did arise but it was quickly identified and resolved. The Diplomats were however daunted by the low voter turnout.
Ambassador Holloway congratulated the Guyanese people and pointed out that the turnout here was possibly the highest he has witness in a local government elections.
“Was it lower than general elections? Yes it was! But should you expect it to be the same, I would say no,” he added.
Mr. Holloway was supported in his reasoning by the two other Heads of Missions who both concurred that local elections globally have been characterised by low voter turn out with the exception of where the law mandates citizens to vote in some countries.
“While we would have liked to see a higher turnout, it is completely understandable that in the absence of local elections for more than 22 years, there would be some anxiety, apprehension and uncertainty among some voters on what these elections were all about,” Ambassador Holloway added.
The Diplomats stayed clear of noting what the possible reasons were for the low turnout but insisted that it was the duty of all stakeholders to ensure that voters go to the polls. The Guyana Elections Commission, voters, political parties, groups and candidates were commended for ensuring a smooth democratic process on Friday.