Carter Center Releases Final Guyana 2015 Election Report

May 17, 2017
Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison,

ATLANTA — The Carter Center today released its final report on Guyana’s 2015 general and regional elections. The report summarizes the Carter Center’s observation activities and makes recommendations to the Guyanese authorities to improve future elections to help bring them in line with international standards for democratic elections and Guyana’s own legal framework.

The Carter Center election observation mission in Guyana launched April 8, 2015, following an invitation from the office of the president. It was led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Dame Audrey Glover of the United Kingdom, and Dame Billie Miller of Barbados. Six medium-term observers from six countries were deployed throughout the country in advance of election day to assess election preparations. On election day, 53 observers from 26 countries visited 297 polling stations in all 10 regions to observe voting, counting, tabulation, and the declaration of results. The Carter Center remained in Guyana to observe the post-election environment.

In the report, The Carter Center repeats its longstanding support for fundamental constitutional reform that attenuates the problems with the current winner-take-all system. The urgency of this challenge is made greater with the anticipated influx of oil revenue, which has the potential to exacerbate ethnic and political conflicts. The report also includes a compendium of reform recommendations from previous Carter Center election observation missions (pages 105-108) and makes new recommendations (pages 7-9 and pages 56-59). These include:

  • Re-evaluate the electoral system to increase the accountability of politicians to the electors and to equalize representation of women in parliament.
  • Allow individuals to stand for election to the presidency and consider adopting a ranked-choice voting system to give greater incentive for candidates to appeal to more than their base voters.
  • Ensure geographic seats are more equitably distributed among electors.
  • Clarify the law and procedures for recounts.
  • Consolidate electoral laws to make the rules of the game more easily accessible.
  • Strengthen the professionalism and independence of GECOM by closely evaluating the structure, recruitment, and training of GECOM staff and commissioners.

With the 2015 Guyana mission, The Carter Center reached an important milestone: its 100th election observation mission. It has now observed 103 elections in 39 countries.

Final Election Report: 2015 General and Regional Elections in Guyana (PDF)



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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.