The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the general and regional elections was offically launched today by Chief Observer, Urmas Paet, a Member of the European Parliament from Estonia. The EU has deployed the mission in response to an invitation by the President of Guyana.
“The presence of the EU Election Observation Mission demonstrates the European Union’s commitment to the conduct of inclusive, transparent and credible elections in Guyana. We focus our observation not only on the election day, but on the entire electoral process, including the campaign, the results tabulation, and the resolution of any election-related disputes after voting has finished,”said Mr Paet at the press conference in Georgetown.
Mr Paet explained that the EU EOM will assess the extent to which the elections are in complaince with the laws of Guyana, as well as with international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Guyana is a signatory.
The mission is currently composed of a core team of nine election experts, who arrived in Georgetown on 25 January, as well as 14 experienced long-term observers, who were deployed on 4 February across the ten regions of Guyana to observe electoral preparations and the campaign.
“As I speak our long-term observers are meeting with election officials, candidates and representatives of civil society. They will report their observations back to the core team in Georgetown, and these will contribute to the mission’s informed and impartial assessment of the electoral process,” explained Mr Paet.
Shortly before the election day the mission will be reinforced by 20 short-term observers who will observe voting, counting and the tabulation of results. On election day, the mission will be joined also by locally recruited short-term observers from EU member states diplomatic missions accredited to Guyana. This will bring the total number of EU observers to more than 50.
The EU EOM will issue a preliminary statement of its initial findings shortly after the election day. A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations for future elections, will be presented approximately two to three months later.
The mission is independent in its findings and conclusions and EU observers adhere to a strict code of conduct for international observers that requires they maintain strict neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work and do not interfere in the electoral process.