Elecciones en Guyana: continúa la demora en el conteo de votos pero la OEA felicita al pueblo “por la paciencia para esperar los resultados”

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Comisión electoral de Guyana justifica el retraso en el anuncio de resultados

La Comisión Electoral de Guyana (GECOM, en inglés) achacó este martes a una serie de factores, incluido el mal tiempo en una de sus regiones, al retraso en el anuncio de los resultados preliminares de las elecciones regionales y generales celebradas el lunes.

La presidenta de la GECOM, Claudette Singh, señaló en una conferencia de prensa que los comicios se realizaron de manera libre, justa y creíble, además de estar bien organizados.

‘Pido que sean muy pacientes. Los resultados están llegando y el proceso de verificación se lleva a cabo’, dijo, tras prometer que se anunciarían ‘lo antes posible’, aunque sin dar una fecha.

RECUENTO DE VOTOS EN MARCHA

El director general de elecciones, Keith Lowenfield, afirmó que el proceso de recuento de votos, particularmente en las áreas remotas, continúa su marcha, después de insinuar que algún avance de los resultados podría publicarse el miércoles.

‘Todos los observadores en los distritos y los medios involucrados están en las verificaciones’, aclaró.

Lowenfield dijo que, en lo que respecta a los resultados oficiales, hoy, obviamente, no será posible conocerlos.

‘Los funcionarios electorales que regresen a pesar de la geografía de sus respectivos distritos estarán compartiendo sus verificaciones durante la jornada’, indicó.

Lowenfield sostuvo que una vez que se completen esos recuentos se trabajará en juntar todos los resultados antes de dar paso al anuncio.

NUEVE PARTIDOS DISPUTAN LAS GENERALES

GECOM dijo que nueve partidos políticos disputaron las elecciones generales -aunque solo dos con posibilidades reales de victoria-, mientras que 11 participaron en los comicios regionales.

Las alecciones del lunes fueron seguidas sobre el terreno por una misión electoral de 17 observadores de trece nacionalidades del Comunidad del Caribe (Caricom) y de otros países.

La misión de observadores incluyó a miembros del Centro Carter, dirigida por Jason Carter, nieto del expresidente estadounidense Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), y la ex primera ministra senegalesa Aminata Touré (2013-2014).

La misión electoral que sigue estos comicios es la quinta enviada a Guyana desde las elecciones generales y regionales de 1992.

Las dos formaciones de Guyana con posibilidades de victoria son Una Asociación para la Unidad Nacional + Alianza para el Cambio (APNU + AFC), que lidera el hasta ahora presidente, David Granger, y el opositor Partido Progresista del Pueblo (PPP), con Irfaan Ali a la cabeza.

AGRADECEN A VOTANTES SU PACIENCIA

La coalición agradeció en un comunicado a todos los guyaneses por la paciencia en el ejercicio del voto durante el día de las elecciones y por la espera de los resultados oficiales.

‘Pedimos a todos los guyaneses, especialmente a nuestros seguidores, que mantengan la calma y realicen sus actividades diarias en un espíritu de paz y optimismo. Somos conscientes de que habrá ansiedad por los resultados, pero reiteramos que debemos permitir que el GECOM haga su trabajo’, subraya el comunicado.

Granger se vio forzado a convocara estos comicios tras la presentación con éxito de una moción de no confianza en su contra en diciembre de 2018, que obtuvo 33 votos a favor y 32 en contra, por parte del partido opositor PPP, con Irfaan Ali como alternativa.

La moción, la primera en salir adelante en la historia de Guyana, fue presentada por el PPP por una supuesta mala gestión de los recursos petroleros y los acuerdos alcanzados con Exxon Mobil.

Aunque Granger debía celebrar elecciones en el plazo de 90 días tras el éxito de moción, varias reclamaciones ante los tribunales retrasaron el proceso hasta las elecciones del lunes.

Diario Libre


OEA felicita a los guyaneses por su compromiso democrático tras elecciones

La misión de observación electoral de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA) a las elecciones del lunes en Guyana, felicitó este martes a los votantes guyaneses por ‘su fuerte compromiso democrático’, que, indicó, se ‘reflejó en su participación pacífica y entusiasta en las elecciones regionales y generales del lunes’.

Así lo indica la organización en un informe preliminar difundido hoy en el que también alaba la paciencia de los electores en la espera de los resultados oficiales de los comicios, sobre los que no hay fecha específica para su difusión.

La misión en los comicios celebrados ayer fue liderada por el ex primer ministro de Jamaica Bruce Golding, quien llegó al país el 20 de febrero, y está conformada por 17 observadores internacionales de 13 países, incluidos especialistas en registros electorales, organización electoral, tecnología electoral, justicia electoral, financiación de campañas y participación política de las mujeres.

Para garantizar un análisis a fondo de estos temas y del proceso electoral general, la misión se reunió con las autoridades electorales y gubernamentales, los partidos políticos y los candidatos, los agentes y representantes de la sociedad civil, las misiones internacionales de observación de elecciones y otros miembros de la comunidad internacional.

Los expertos de la misión también revisaron la legislación, los reglamentos, los procesos y los procedimientos actuales en estas áreas, para garantizar una comprensión completa del contexto actual.

A su vez, la OEA indicó en el informe preliminar que la misión de observación ‘aplaude a la gente de Guyana por su paciencia para esperar los resultados’ electorales, a la vez que les alienta a seguir haciéndolo.

La misión, concluye, ‘espera con interés la publicación de los resultados oficiales lo antes posible’.

La Comisión Electoral de Guyana (Gecom, en inglés) achacó este martes a una serie de factores, incluido el mal tiempo en una de sus regiones, al retraso en el anuncio de los resultados preliminares de las elecciones regionales y generales celebradas el lunes.

La presidenta de la Gecom, Claudette Singh, señaló en una conferencia de prensa que los comicios se realizaron de manera libre, justa y creíble, además de estar bien organizados.

‘Pido que sean muy pacientes. Los resultados están llegando y el proceso de verificación se lleva a cabo’, dijo, tras prometer que se anunciarían ‘lo antes posible’, aunque sin dar una fecha.

Diario Libre


Preliminary Report of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Guyana for the March 2 General and Regional Elections

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) for the March 2nd General and Regional Elections in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, commends the people of Guyana on their strong democratic commitment, as reflected in their peaceful and enthusiastic participation at the polls.

The Mission was led by the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, the Most Honorable Bruce Golding. It arrived in the country on February 20, and comprised 17 international observers from 13 countries, including specialists in electoral registries, electoral organization, electoral technology, electoral justice, campaign finance and the political participation of women.

To ensure a substantive analysis of these issues and of the overall electoral process, the Mission engaged with electoral and government authorities, political parties and candidates, civil society actors, international election observation missions and other members of the international community. The Mission’s experts also reviewed current legislation, regulations, processes and procedures in these areas, to ensure a full understanding of the current context.

The Mission applauds the people of Guyana for their patience in awaiting the results of the poll and encourages them to continue doing so. The Mission looks forward to the publication of the official results at the earliest opportunity.

OEA


Carter Center Encourages Patience and Peace as Guyana Awaits Election Results

In a preliminary statement released today, The Carter Center commended the people of Guyana for their participation in the March 2 election and encouraged all Guyanese to remain patient and peaceful as GECOM finalizes the results.

Because the election process is still ongoing, this statement reflects only preliminary findings of observations through March 3. It does not provide an overall assessment, which can only happen after the process is completed. Carter Center observers continue to observe the tabulation process, with teams at the Georgetown tabulation center around the clock. The Center may issue additional reports in the days ahead. A comprehensive final report will be released in the coming months.

At this juncture, it is especially important that political parties and observers witness the Guyana Election Commission’s processes of tabulation and finalization of results to ensure transparency. GECOM has made progress in tabulating results, but the process may still take some time to complete. Only GECOM has the authority to declare results. In the days to come, the Center urges the key political leaders to act responsibly and in the interest of all Guyana’s people, consistent with the spirit of the code of conduct signed by all parties. It is important that any disputes be addressed through appropriate legal channels.

The statement’s key findings include:

Voting and Counting:

The Center’s 41 observers conducted 220 observations in polling stations across all 10 regions, in addition to observing the advance voting for disciplined forces that took place on Feb. 21. Carter Center observers reported that voting and counting processes were largely well-organized and peaceful, and assessed the implementation of voting procedures as positive, with only occasional inadequacies. GECOM’s polling staff seemed well-trained on polling procedures and exhibited professionalism throughout the day. Carter Center observers noted that polling staff were less confident in the application of counting procedures.

Observers encountered political party scrutineers in all of the stations they observed, which provided an important level of transparency. In 95 percent of the stations observed, The Carter Center assessed the performance of political party scrutineers as positive.

In some areas, particularly Region 4, The Carter Center observed the presence of campaigning and campaign materials within 200 yards of polling stations, which violates the law. In addition, observers noted the presence of information desks operated by the two major political parties in regions 4, 7, 9, and 10, particularly in Georgetown. The Carter Center heard some complaints in Georgetown about the presence of these tents within 200 yards of polling stations.

Electoral Administration:

GECOM utilized its strong base of electoral expertise to conduct well-managed voting-day operations. The voting and counting processes were generally well-prepared and logistically sound.

The method of appointment of GECOM commissioners was based on a recommendation former U.S. President Jimmy Carter made for the 1992 election that has come to be known as the “Carter Formula” and was later integrated into the constitution. The formula gives GECOM a partisan structure that has resulted in a highly polarized and sometimes ineffective board of commissioners. It also advantages the major parties and excludes newer parties. The Carter Center reiterates a recommendation made in multiple prior reports that Guyana consider adjusting GECOM’s structure to increase its independence, effectiveness, and professionalism.

GECOM also would benefit from taking steps to provide greater transparency. Its decision-making processes were carried out in closed-door meetings, and few decisions were publicly explained. This consistently inhibited the commission’s credibility, unnecessarily reducing confidence in the process. In the future, GECOM should adopt a public relations plan to increase the transparency of the commission’s work.

Voter Registration:

The voter register has been a source of controversy throughout the election period. The Carter Center closely followed the development of the final voter register and steps by the secretariat to try to produce a voter register that was comprehensive, reliable, and accurate. Carter Center observations on election day indicate that GECOM’s efforts to compile the list appear to have been successful.

A total of 660,988 registered voters were on the final roll, an increase of 15.5 percent from the 2015 election. The increase in registered voters from 2011 to 2015 was similar in absolute terms – approximately 90,000 voters. The number of registered voters seems disproportionate to Guyana’s estimated population. The Carter Center recommends that before the next election the government reassess and overhaul both the process and the technology used to create and manage the voter registration database.

Preparations for Election Day:

Generally, preparations for polling day went smoothly and were carried out on schedule. In advance of the election, The Carter Center observed the training of poll workers in several locations across the country, and in all cases assessed the training positively.

In the preelection period, some questioned the reduction of polling places in private residences, which the opposition felt was implemented in a discriminatory manner. The issue was resolved, but only a few days before the election. Some stakeholders linked this issue to Carter Center reporting and recommendations from 2015. The Carter Center noted in its 2015 report that 166 polling stations were located in private buildings and residences and suggested that GECOM ensure that citizens can cast their ballots in a neutral environment. While The Carter Center stands by this recommendation, we note that the use of private buildings may be necessary in some areas and does not necessarily undermine public confidence in the process. Regardless, the debate about this issue contributed to delays in the finalization of the list of polling stations. In the future, any changes to polling locations should be completed well in advance of election day.

Conclusions:

The Carter Center urges Guyana’s political leaders to commit to reform the “winner-takes-all” election system currently in use. They should make critical issues of constitutional reform an urgent priority and commit to completing key reforms well before the next general election.

About the Mission:

Following a letter of invitation from the government of Guyana, the Center formally launched its international electoral observation mission in early January by deploying a core team of four international experts and six long-term observers. They were joined in late February by a delegation of Center staff from Atlanta and short-term observers co-led by Aminata Touré, former prime minister of Senegal, and Jason Carter, chairperson of The Carter Center Board of Trustees. The Center will remain in Guyana to observe tabulation and the resolution of any legal disputes.

Carter Center


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