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Allow Civil Society and GECOM to roll out consultations on Guyana’s first genuine referendum on electoral reform
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Electoral Reform Group says splitting up Region 4 is unjustified, provocative.
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ERG will work with all interested citizens in 2021 to lay ground for election we can be proud of in 2025
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The current draft ROPA amendments reflect only the interest of government and the PPP/C
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The work of the ERG is to give citizens the opportunity to choose our electoral system
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Guyana needs a broad-based mechanism to drive national consensus on electoralreforms
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All stakeholders should be involved from inception of electoral reform process
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Electoral Reform
12 December 2020
3 min read
We see electoral reform as entry point to broader reforms

ERG will work with all interested citizens in 2021 to lay ground for election we can be proud of in 2025

This was first published as a letter to the editor of Stabroek News on December 20, 2020.

We noted with delight your article of December 16 headlined `Constitutional, electoral reforms should be ‘people-driven’ – President, former Presidents say.’

When in office, former President Granger had sent a similar message regarding constitutional reforms, when he said “I don’t want a boardroom constitutional reform, I want public discussion. I want people in their communities to meet and express their views…we need to go to the people, find out what the people think…we need to listen to them.” (SN, June 20, 2016)

The Electoral Reform Group (ERG), a citizen-based group that was launched earlier this month, agrees that citizens must be at the centre of reform efforts. As such, we are encouraged by the consensus on a ‘people-driven’ approach to reform among President Ali and all four former living Presidents.

To this end, ERG has highlighted the importance of Article 13 in our constitution, which sees Guyana’s democracy as “providing increasing opportunities for the participation of citizens, and their organisations, in the management and decision-making processes of the State, with particular emphasis on those areas of decision-making that directly affect their well-being.” Few would deny that Guyana’s elections directly affect the well-being of citizens.

However, we have detected significant levels of citizen cynicism when it comes to their efforts to participate in the decision-making processes of the State. Tokenistic consultations, inadequate preparation, no feedback loops, limited implementation of decisions, elite capture – these are examples of what we need to avoid in the future ‘people-driven’ electoral reform process.

In 2021, ERG plans to engage citizens using high quality stakeholder engagement tools and techniques that demonstrate inclusion, transparency, and respect, for example. Within our limited resources we will do our best to ensure that all voices, with particular attention being paid to typically under-represented or excluded groups, such as youths, women, Indigenous Peoples, and the poor, are heard.

We believe a citizens-engaging-citizens approach will bring out the wisdom of our People and lead, in partnership with the State, towards the most meaningful decision-making on electoral reforms. To this end, ERG will work with all interested citizens to lay the ground in 2021 for an election that we can all be proud of come 2025.

Yours for Guyana,

Alfred Bhulai

David Singh

Desmond Thomas

Devta Ramroop

Errol Ganpatsingh

Godfrey Whyte

Heetasmin Singh

Kerry Anne Cort-Kansinally

Lawrence Lachmansingh

Rene Edwards

Rory Fraser

Sara Bharrat