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The Commonwealth Secretariat will field an observer group to monitor the upcoming elections.

Commonwealth Secretary General Donald McKinnon, in a letter to Cabinet Secretary Dr Roger Luncheon, dated May 19, 2006, said an assessment mission had determined that an observer group would be free to pursue its mandate and receive broad support. An assessment mission had been sent to Guyana as a result of an invitation by the government for a Commonwealth observer group.

In his letter, McKinnon expressed concern over the postponement of elections beyond the original constitutional deadline. "I hope that they would be held without further delays," he wrote. Elections are now constitutionally due by September 2, although there is concern over whether there would be enough time to satisfy the post-election constitutional requirements for the establishment of the new government and parliamentary session. This question is among the issues that are currently the subject of a legal action.

Meanwhile, the Government Information Agency (GINA) said on Friday that the Organisation of American States would also field an observer mission for elections, while the European Union (EU) has pledged one million euros (some $25M) to support the holding of the elections. The finances are in lieu of an observer mission. Dr Luncheon told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday that the administration would respond to the EU's refusal to mount an observer team.

Stabroek News
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