GEORGETOWN, Guyana, February 20, 2020 (CMC) – United States-based election watchdog – the Carter Center – ahead of the upcoming general election, has issued a call to political parties to refrain from provocative speech, while on the campaign trail.
In a statement, today, the Centre, which has been monitoring the campaigns, said it is concerned about the elevation of rhetoric on the campaign trail.
According to the Carter Center, the introduction of a code of conduct, by the Ethnic Relations Commission, was a welcome initiative, and that code calls on all parties to refrain from using any words or engaging in actions that might stoke tension or be offensive.
All of the parties competing in the elections have signed on to the code.
The observer group noted that the political campaigning has been peaceful, although observers have heard allegations of isolated incidents of harassment of supporters, of both the ruling coalition and the opposition.
Meanwhile, the Carter Center’s statement also focused on the preparations for the elections.
Based on its observations, the Centre has noted that the preparations have been going well.
On the issue of tabulation of results, the Centre noted that while the procedures are covered by law, it is concerned that those procedures have not been made clear to key stakeholders.
The Carter Centre believes that clear and detailed explanations of procedures are critical, and GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission) ought to “publicize and distribute existing procedures, as widely as possible, including to all political parties, civil society organizations, media, and electoral observers, in order to clarify any misunderstandings and avoid disputes over the process”.