While endorsing the recommendations made by the European Union (EU) Observer Mission in its 2020 Elections report, the APNU Opposition today expressed a willingness to meet with the EU team currently in Guyana to assist with electoral reforms.
At a media briefing today, Opposition Member of Parliament, Shurwayne Holder said the visit by the EU team is welcomed.
He said the Opposition stands ready to make its case for a clean voters’ list.
“In our expected meetings with the EU follow-up mission, we, in the Opposition intend to make the case for a clean voters list and the use of biometrics for voting. We remain skeptical that the current photo identification and verification process can reduce the risk of fraud inherent in a bloated voters list. We also intend to demonstrate where the recent amendments to ROPA are cosmetic and ineffectual,” MP Holder detailed.
He said the Opposition is also ready to advance the agenda on electoral reforms.
“Electoral reforms in Guyana have become increasingly necessary as GECOM continues to shirk its constitutional responsibility to deliver credible elections and as the public’s confidence in elections continues to erode,” MP Holder said.
According to Mr. Holder, preparations for the 2023 Local Government Elections have demonstrated that the electoral process is still prone to political manipulation, corruption, and fraud.
“They have further exposed an Elections Commission that has been politically hijacked, is poorly chaired, is administratively unfit, and is unaccountable to the people,” he said.
He said the Opposition has reviewed the 26 recommendations made in the final report of the 2020 EU Election Observer Mission to Guyana, and has found no difficulty in supporting the recommendations.
The EU Observer Mission underscored the need for the complete overhaul of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) through a consultative process, the need for a thorough update of the decade-old register and also, the need for clear written procedures for the transmission and tabulation of election results.
The EU delegation, which arrived in Guyana earlier this week, will be in the country for a number of weeks to address issues related to electoral reforms ahead of the 2025 elections.