Shortfall in applications for election observers – Lowenfield

first_img…PSC, GPSU, diplomatic missions among applicantsThe Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday confirmed receipt of applications from entities for election observer status. However, the number of applications is cause for concern.At a press conference on Monday, Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield was asked for an update on local and international observers, and whether they have been approved.While not clear on whether the commission has approved the observers, Lowenfield did explain that entities such as the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC) are among the local applicants.“As far as the observers go, you may be aware that we had made a public advertisement for groups who are desirous of participating in the observation of the process. We have received very few of those.”“The Private Sector, the Public Service Union, I think some of the embassies, I think the US and Canadian (missions) would have made submissions to the Commission for approval. So they’re the only ones who’ve responded to us in terms of participating in the observation subset,” Lowenfield said.He explained that the applications received were deliberated on at the level of the Commission. Asked if any applicants were turned down by GECOM, Lowenfield noted that he had no knowledge of this.The last time Local government elections were held, in 2016, the US Embassy and the British and Canadian High Commissions had fielded observer teams. With elections expected to be held on November 12, the deadline for application for local observer status was October 11.Lists of candidates in Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Councils have already been approved. The disciplined services are expected to go to the polls on November 2, with the general populace being scheduled to vote on November 12.The People’s Progressive Party had previously indicated that over 3000 candidates have been put forward by that party to contest local elections in all 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs). The other parties will be contesting on a smaller scale.A Partnership for National Unity will be contesting elections in 76 of the 80 LAAs. Meanwhile, the Alliance For Change (AFC) on Wednesday announced plans to contest only 38 LAAs at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), scheduled for November 12.This announcement follows previous statements made by that party to the effect that it had planned to contest the elections in more than 50 LAAs.last_img read more