OAS Mission – International Observers condemn acts of violence in Guyana

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WASHINGTON, USA – The OAS Electoral Observation Mission to the General and Regional Elections in Guyana condemns the acts of violence witnessed on the evening of March 5 at the office of the Returning Officer (RO) for Region 4. Such actions have no place in any electoral process.

The International Observer Missions from the Commonwealth, the OAS, the European Union, and The Carter Center issued a statement:

“The tabulation of results for the election in Region 4 was interrupted and remains incomplete. The law requires that tabulation must be conducted in the presence of party agents and observers. Until this transparent process takes place, the counting of votes recorded for Region 4 remains incomplete.

“A calm and conducive environment must be provided by the police. We urge all political parties to adhere to the codes of conduct signed by them. Until this occurs, the result of these elections cannot be credibly declared.”

The OAS Electoral Observation Mission was present during the several efforts to review and verify the statements of poll in Region 4. Although results were announced, the Mission notes that the process did not reach its proper conclusion as stipulated in the electoral code and that, subsequently, the results published by GECOM do not meet the established standards.

The Mission also notes that legal remedies were pursued by the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) but that these were unsuccessful. The OAS calls for this impasse to be resolved peacefully, employing the relevant provisions in the law. Published results should not be acted upon until that time.

The courts should determine the best possible way forward. Any solution should be open and transparent and guarantee that all parties involved in this election have access to the maximum opportunities for redress under the law.

The Mission urges all citizens to remain calm and calls on all political stakeholders to respect the electoral process as prescribed in Guyana’s legislation.

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