Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, SC, MP, today expressed the government’s commitment to electoral reform during a meeting with the European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission, which observed the 2nd March 2020 Election.
Michael Lidauer, Political Analyst, Urmas Paet, Chief Observer, Alexander Matus, Deputy Chief Observer, accompanied Evelina Melbarzde, Deputy Head of Mission, and Head of Political, Press and Information Section of the Delegation of the Europen Union to Guyana, Suriname, and several other jurisdictions constituted the visiting Delegation.
During the visit, the Delegation handed over a copy of its Report on observations made regarding the 2nd March 2020 elections, while the Attorney General thanked them for the role they played, and assured them that the Report will be perused, and where appropriate, its recommendations implemented.
The Delegation indicated its interest in Guyana’s legislative agenda regarding campaign financing, and holistic elections law, to which the Attorney General shared that Guyana is committed to administrative and legislative electoral reforms to prevent the issues which took place during and after the last election.
“We are aware of where the weaknesses are and where they were exploited. So, it is not a difficult task to correct those weaknesses so we will not have a reoccurrence. Your recommendations will be scrutanised and incorporated as far as possible,” the Attorney General said, adding that these changes will follow a process of consultation.
On the issue of the absence of holistic, consolidated elections law, the Attorney General said that “It is a concern that the [elections] laws are scattered, and that is being addressed by revising and consolidating those laws. The Law Reform Commission has been constituted. It is independent. One of its first responsibilities will be the revision and consolidation of the laws of Guyana in several volumes.”
The Delegation also enquired as to the status of the election petitions filed after the March 2nd elections, and were informed that Election Petition 99 of 2020 was dismissed for procedural impropriety, but has been appealed, while Election Petition 88 of 2020 is still engaging the High Court.