Published On: Fri, Apr 28th, 2017

Former GECOM Chairman Surujbally leads CARICOM team to observe Curacao elections

steve-surujballyWILLEMSTAD - Former Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr. Steve Surujbally, is in Curacao leading a small Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Electoral Observer Mission to monitor the General Elections to be held there tomorrow.

The team was assembled following an invitation from the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Following elections on October 5 last year, and after being in office for just over seven weeks, the Government of Curacao led by Prime Minister Hensley Koeiman, collapsed on February 12, when the coalition lost its majority, the CARICOM Website stated.

The Governor subsequently ratified the National Decree of the Koeiman Cabinet to dissolve Parliament and call for new elections. The Mission arrived in Curacao last Tuesday and will depart on April 30.

The other members of the Mission are experts in electoral management from Barbados, Guyana and Jamaica. A representative from the CARICOM Secretariat will support the work of the observer group.

CARICOM said that this election observation serves as a platform to support existing democratic traditions within the Caribbean Community as part of its wider policy of supporting democracy.

“This is the first time CARICOM will be mounting an Electoral Observer Mission to a third state. Curacao’s application for Associated Membership in CARICOM is an interest CARICOM Heads of Government have recognized.” CARICOM website stated.

Last October, Dr. Surujbally led an Observer Mission which was requested by Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, for the presidential elections there.

Other members of that Mission included experts in electoral management from Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Surujbally resigned as Chairman of GECOM recently. This position remains vacant as the Opposition and Government seek a suitable candidate.

As is required by law, a list was submitted by the Opposition to the President. That list was subsequently rejected.

A second list is expected to be submitted shortly.

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