Carter Center calls on GECOM to clear air on electoral issues
The Carter Center –one of the major elections observer missions in Guyana –believes that only the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) can bring an end to the country’s political unrest, and is calling on that body to address issues relating to the March 2 elections.
“We urge GECOM to be clear about what the next steps of this process are,” Jason Carter, Co-Leader of the Center’s elections observer mission, said on Friday night during a press conference at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.
“We’re asking GECOM to be clear and speak out about what is going on,” he said explaining that GECOM’s silence is feeding rumours and misinformation, leading to widespread protests across the country.
Carter also joined in the calls for calm and patience as the elections process continues.
Although one political party has declared victory, he noted that “the process is not over, it is ongoing.”
It has been 24 hours since elections observers, the media o and party officials were removed from the GECOM’s Command Centre at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown; the building is now locked up.
The last press conference from GECOM was Tuesday at noon.
As at this time, there has been no official declaration of a winner of the March 02 elections by neither the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield nor the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission.
On Thursday, the Returning Officer for Region Four made a declaration of unverified results, which put the APNU+AFC Coalition in the lead.
The PPP, other parties and the international community have all declared that the declaration did not follow due process and urged that the Region Four returning officer follow the legal process for the declaration.
Cater said the results lack credibility and it is only GECOM who can salvage the process since the other nine regions had a free and fair process except for Region Four.
Assuring that the Carter Center does not support any party, Carter said there is need for clarity to determine a credible election.
“We do not stand with any political party…We stand with the process…We have no idea who won.”
Carter said that the observers were in communication with the elections commission but “they need to be clear with the Guyanese people.”
He refuted claims that the Carter Centre is overstepping its bounds.
To avoid similar incidents like which occurred on Thursday, the Carter Centre has proposed that the GECOM to place restrictions on the number persons in the building.