Guyana needs a broad-based mechanism to drive national consensus on electoral reforms

Recent concerns about the US Government’s planned electoral reform project, to be implemented by the International Republican Institute (IRI), were met with a positive response from the PPP/C, which has variously confirmed that civil society and political parties will have an input on electoral reforms, and that the draft amended Representation of the People Act (RPA) would be circulated at the end of June 2021. These are encouraging responses. The ERG had previously stated it has no problem with the US Government or any other international partner supporting reforms to both GECOM and the electoral system, so long as those reforms:

i.              Are developed through a process of dialogue and  negotiation among Guyanese people, and

ii.             Genuine citizen representation plays a central role in the process. 

There is no shortcut around such a dialogue on the road to needed electoral reforms. ERG respectfully recommends that a broad-based national mechanism, characterised by inclusion and transparency, be created to support all electoral reform activities, including the amending of the RPA.  The international community could be invited to observe the process. A broad-based mechanism would improve public confidence and participation in the reform process, and better ensure that all stakeholders support the eventual reforms.  If ever there was an opportunity to operationalise Article 13 of our constitution, which mandates the participation of the PEOPLE in decision-making processes that affect their well-being, electoral reform is that opportunity.

There are many different examples we can draw on to design such a mechanism, including Guyana’s earlier constitutional reform and national development planning processes.  ERG has confidence that such a mechanism, designed and implemented wisely, will overcome the unproductive rancour that tends to accompany political debate. To this end, we further suggest that Government convene key civil society and political party stakeholders to design the electoral reform mechanism and to agree on the management, funding, and other aspects of the mechanism. We are reminded, Editor, to observe that Guyana needs a national consensus on electoral reforms.  An inclusive electoral reform mechanism will help ensure consensus. ERG is committed to supporting the participation of citizens in that consensus.

Guyana is for all peoples – Happy 55th Guyana!
May 26 Wismar Massacre of Indians in Guyana

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to

Guyana Diaspora Online Forum

We have a large database of Guyanese worldwide.  Most of our readers are in the USA, Canada, and the UK.  Our Blog and Newsletter  would not only carry  articles and videos on Guyana, but also other articles on a wide range of subjects that may be of interest to our readers in over 200 countries, many of them non-Guyanese  We hope that you like our selections.

It is estimated that over one million Guyanese, when counting their dependents, live outside of Guyana.  This exceeds the population of Guyana, which is now about 750,000.  Many left early in the 50’s and 60’s while others went with the next wave in the 70’s and 80’s.  The latest wave left over the last 20 years. This outflow of Guyanese, therefore, covers some three generations. This outflow still continues today, where over 80 % of U.G. graduates now leave after graduating.  We hope this changes, and soon.

Guyanese, like most others, try to keep their culture and pass it on to their children and grandchildren.  The problem has been that many Guyanese have not looked back, or if they did it was only fleetingly.  This means that the younger generations and those who left at an early age know very little about Guyana since many have not visited the country.  Also, if they do get information about Guyana, it is usually negative and thus the cycle of non-interest is cultivated.

This Guyana Diaspora Online Forum , along with its monthly newsletter, aims at bringing Guyanese together to support positive news, increase travel and tourism in Guyana and, in general, foster the birth of a new Guyana, which has already begun notwithstanding the negative news that grabs the headlines.  As the editor and manager of the publication, I am committed to delivering Blog entries and Newsletters that are politically balanced, and focused on the positive ideas we wish to share and foster among Guyanese.

Go to top