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Countdown Begins To Guyana Election

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. May 7, 2015:  The countdown has begun officially to Guyana’s May 11th general and regional elections.

The Electoral Observation Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS/EOM) this week began its final deployment of observers. The OAS observer mission is being headed by the former Foreign Minister of Belize Lisa Shoman, who was designated by Secretary General José Miguel Insulza.

The entire delegation is comprised of 23 observers from 13 countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. The first members of the Mission arrived in Guyana on May 2nd, following a preliminary visit in mid-April to learn about the preparations for the elections.

The Mission will focus its observation on electoral organization, electoral-political financing and the equal participation of men and women in the electoral process. It will also gather information about the status of the recommendations made in the last OAS/EOM in 2011.

This is the fifth time the OAS has observed elections in Guyana, following Missions in 1997, 2001, 2006 and 2011.

The Carter Center and former US President Jimmy Carter will also be observing the Guyana elections that will see for the first time a coalition party of the Alliance for Change and the A Partnership For National Unity facing off against the incumbent ruling Peoples Progressive Party/Civic headed by President Donald Ramotar.