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The Carter Center Announces Election Observation Presence in Guyana


CONTACT: Jon Moor, 404-420-5107

ATLANTA….The Carter Center announced today that it is organizing a small election observation presence for Guyana's upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on August 28. The purpose is to demonstrate the Center's interest in and support for Guyana's democratization process and to assess the political and electoral environment in Guyana surrounding the elections in follow-up to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter's visit to Guyana in August 2004.

For previous elections in Guyana in 1992 and 2001, The Carter Center mounted full-scale observation missions and produced comprehensive reports, offering several recommendations for improving future elections. The 2001 report noted that while credible elections are essential to democratization, elections alone would not produce an inclusive system of governance with broad participation.

"The 2006 elections come at a critical moment in Guyana's democratization. The elections will provide Guyanese citizens with an opportunity to select their leaders, and the results will shape the prospects for genuine dialogue and inclusive governance in Guyana," said David Carroll, director of the Center's Democracy Program.

The Center's small-scale observation team for the 2006 elections consists of a field office director and three medium-term observers. The team will meet election officials, political party and civil society leaders, representatives of the international community, and other stakeholders and will analyze the campaign and electoral preparations in the final weeks before the elections.

Seven short-term observers will join the field team to assess election day and post-elections processes. The Carter Center will coordinate closely with other international election observation missions as well as domestic observation groups canvassing the country.

Because of the small size and limited scope of its observation presence, the Carter Center team does not constitute a comprehensive observation mission and does not intend to draw conclusions or issue public judgments about the overall election process. Nonetheless, given its longstanding engagement in the country, the Center hopes to assist Guyana to use the elections and the post-election period as an opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to building more inclusive systems and practices of governance.

The Carter Center's election observation activities are conducted in accordance with the "Declaration of Principles and Code of Conduct for International Election Observation," which was endorsed by more than 20 major election observation groups in October 2005 at a conference at the United Nations and establishes standards for professional, impartial, and effective observation.


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 65 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production. To learn more about The Carter Center, please visit

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