Commonwealth Election Reports

2310-1512 (online)
Hide / Show Abstract

Commonwealth Election Reports, the reports of Commonwealth Observer Groups, Missions or Expert Teams, are independently prepared by the team members as a contribution to the democracy and consensus-building in Commonwealth countries.

The General and Regional Elections in Guyana, 15 December 1997

The General and Regional Elections in Guyana, 15 December 1997 You do not have access to this content

Click to Access:
  • PDF
  • READ
Commonwealth Observer Group
01 Jan 1998
9781848596313 (PDF)

Hide / Show Abstract

These Election Reports are the observations, conclusions and recommendations of Commonwealth Observer Groups. The SecretaryGeneral constitutes these observer missions at the request of governments and with the agreement of all significant political parties. At the end of a mission, a report is submitted to the SecretaryGeneral, who makes it available to the government of the country in question, the political parties concerned and to all Commonwealth governments. The report eventually becomes a public document.

loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Introduction

    Following receipt of a request from the President of Guyana, HE Mr Samuel Hinds, for a Commonwealth presence at his country's General and Regional Elections scheduled for 15 December 1997, the Commonwealth Secretary-General sent an Assessment Mission, comprising three Secretariat officials, to Guyana to establish whether the major political parties would welcome Commonwealth observers. The Assessment Mission visited Guyana from 12-18 October and met with the Elections Commission, the main political parties and other interested groups. It confirmed that there was broad support within Guyana for the presence of Commonwealth observers.

  • Political Background

    Guyana has a rich and colourful political history dominated from the period before independence by two of its equally colourful political leaders, Dr Cheddi Jagan and Mr Forbes Burnham, both former Presidents and both now deceased. The first major popular political organisations in Guyana, of which both former Presidents were founding fathers, were established in 1946 but combined in 1950 to form the People's Progressive Party (PPP) under the leadership of Dr Jagan, to press for independence from Britain.

  • The Administrative and Legislative Framework and Preparations for the Elections

    The Constitution of Guyana sets out the electoral system and the management machinery that govern the conduct of elections. Fifty-three members of the National Assembly are elected in accordance with a system of proportional representation.

  • The Campaign and the Media

    When we arrived in Georgetown the campaign was well under way, and although there were relatively few posters in and around the city there could be no doubt that elections were imminent. With nine days to go before the General and Regional Elections there were regular rallies and meetings by the larger political parties and all sections of the Press were full of campaign advertising and news. The number of people attending rallies depended on who was speaking.

  • The Poll and Count

    On Wednesday 10 December we observed voting by the Disciplined Forces, which included the police, the defence force, the prison service and the national service. This provided us with an opportunity to observe voters using the newly introduced Voter Identification Card for the first time. Separate lists for the voting of the Disciplined Forces were extracted from the general list on the basis of a list of names provided to the Elections Commission by the relevant service.

  • Summary of Conclusions and Observations
  • Acknowledgements and Annexes
  • Add to Marked List