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EU Elections Report: AG vows to fix loopholes in elections laws exploited in 2020

To prevent a recurrence of the events surrounding the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall on Wednesday committed to administrative and legislative electoral reforms.

He was at the time meeting with the European Union (EU) Election Observer Mission which handed over their final report on the process which lasted for five months.

The Delegation indicated its interest in Guyana’s legislative agenda regarding campaign financing, and holistic elections law, to which the Attorney General said “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 recurrence. Your recommendations will be scrutinised and incorporated as far as possible.”

According to a statement from his Ministry, the Attorney General said these changes will follow a process of consultation.

“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.” Said Nandlall on the issue of the absence of holistic, consolidated elections laws.

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.

The EU team comprised of 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 European Union to Guyana, Suriname.

They also submitted their final report on the elections to Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Hugh Todd.

The delegation will host a press conference on Friday to outline the recommendations contained in its report and answer questions from the media.

Plagued with court cases, protest actions and other opposition, the 2020 General and Regional Elections lasted from March 2 until August 2 – when Dr. Irfaan Ali was declared President- as members and supporters of the then APNU+AFC Government pushed back against the results of the polls.

That party, now in opposition, is challenging the results of the elections in the High Court through elections petitions. One of the petitions -Election Petition 99 of 2020- was thrown out and is in being appealed while the second – Election Petition 88 of 2020 – is still engaging the High Court.