The twenty-two civic and religious organizations listed below have come together on the basis of a shared interest in seeing well-run national elections take place by the due date which the overwhelming majority of the population will perceive to be fair and free from fear. Key components in achieving this result are acceptable technical standards and a conducive and secure environment.
At a meeting held under the auspices of the Forum on Effectiveness & Solidarity (FES) at the Methodist Outreach Centre on Saturday March 18 2006, civic organizations agreed to involve our memberships in appropriate activities at local community levels related to elections.
Organisationally, a network rather than an organization, more accurately captures how we propose to function. In this respect the work will be driven by each organization according to interests and capacities with a Steering Committee rather than a Secretariat coordinating our efforts.
All independent civic and religious organisations and NGOs are invited to join the network. Until a website and e-mail address is established any such organisations should contact the network via firstname.lastname@example.org or at the telephone listed below.
Our activities will serve both to strengthen the electoral process and at the same time educate ourselves on the extent to which acceptable standards and a conducive environment are being set in place.
Both of these goals centre principally around provision and dissemination of reliable, impartial and comprehensive information in the preparatory and the polling day phases of election. Our intention is to disseminate reliable information gathered from members to provide civic organizations and the public in general with a sound basis for drawing their own conclusions and advising their members.
We do not seek to duplicate the work of others nor to work on behalf of other interests. In keeping with the above we propose monitoring two dimensions of electoral preparations: technical components which contribute to standards of ‘free and fair’ and a conducive environment free from fear.
The basis of technical monitoring will be the list of deliverables agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government of Guyana, GECOM and donors.
Monitoring the election environment is relatively new for Guyana. This would encompass such issues as the current security environment at community level; specific examples of security-induced restrictions on economic, social and religious activities, state of preparedness and security of designated polling places across the country; intensity of rumours which instill fear, etcetera. We will develop guidance for our memberships on this type of monitoring without exposing our members to risk.
Contact Information :Mike McCormack c/o Guyana Human Rights Centre, Tel: 226-1789
March 24 2006
List of Organisations Inaugurating the Network
Amerindian Peoples Association (APA)
Church Women United – Guyana
Church Women United – East Bank Demerara
Clerical & Commercial Workers Union (CCWU)
Community Based Rehab Programme – East Bank Demerara Unit
Gandhi Youth Organisation (GYO)
Georgetown Ministers Fellowship (GMF)
Guyana Bar Association (GBA)
Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Inc. (GCCI)
Guyana Citizens’ Initiative (GCI)
Guyana Council of Churches (GCC)
Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA)
Guyana Trades Union Congress (GTUC)
Guyana Workers Union (GWU)
National Association of Agricultural Commercial & Industrial Employees (NAACIE)
Rights of Children (ROC)
UG Hindu Society
Vilvoorden Women’s Group
YMCA - Albouystown
Youth in Development – Linden