Carter Center in Guyana on pre-assessment mission ahead of 2025 elections

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Prime Minister Mark Phillips meeting with the Carter Center team

A team from the Carter Center is currently in Guyana on a pre-assessment mission ahead of the 2025 General and Regional Elections.

Founder of the Carter Center, Jimmy Carter, first visited Guyana in 1990 and the Center has since remained a key Elections Observer mission to this country.

Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday indicated that the Government has invited the Carter Center, the European Union and others to observe the upcoming elections.

Already, the two major parties –the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) –have commenced campaigning in their traditional support base. In fact, the PPP/C has concluded its congress to set the pace for the elections while the major parties in the APNU, People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) are set to host their Congress soon.

Jagdeo said that the Carter Center pre-assessment mission will meet with the President Dr Irfaan Ali soon. The team has already engaged Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips on Tuesday. According to reports, the Prime Minister Phillips reaffirmed the Government of Guyana’s steadfast commitment to democracy and the rule of law, and underscored the nation’s dedication to maintaining transparent and fair electoral practices.

The team will also engage opposition members, private sector representatives, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), and civil society organisations. This comprehensive engagement aims to ensure a thorough assessment of the pre-election landscape in Guyana.

Following the 2020 General and Regional Elections which deteriorated during the tabulation process, the Center recommended consolidation of all legislation related to elections to create a greater legal clarity and common understanding among stakeholders and to help ensure that the legal framework for elections is more accessible to Guyana’s citizens.

It was further recommended that Guyana enact legislation to regulate political party registration and operations, that supports the freedom of association, and that promotes broad multi-ethnic parties that can represent citizen interests in government.

The Carter Center also urged Guyana’s political leaders to make critical issues of constitutional reform an urgent priority and commit to completing key reforms—including reform of the “winner-takes-all” election system—well before the next general election.

Specifically to GECOM, the Center had recommended introduction of a Political Party Code of Conduct Earlier in the Electoral Process, increased transparency of GECOM’s operations and decision making, update the voter registry and review voter registration procedures, better define operational procedures, enforce existing campaign finance regulations and develop and publicize written procedures for tabulation.

Currently, several former employees of GECOM including the former Chief Elections Officer are before the courts on matters relating to electoral fraud.