Electoral Conditions in Guyana

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In the 24 years since independence, massive, systematic electoral fraud has denied the Guyanese people their right to freely elect their government. Unable to express themselves politically in free and fair elections and constricted by the repressive pressures of a single, dominant party, hundreds of thousands of Guyanese have sought freedom by emigrating, principally to the United States and Canada. Today, Guyana stands at a human rights crossroads. A national election, the first in five years, must be held by March1991. If that election is free and fair, Guyana could regain the road to political freedom and the restoration of national confidence. But a free and fair election cannot be held without fundamental changes in the deeply flawed Guyanese electoral process. The country's current electoral machinery is ideally suited for manipulation by the governing party -- an opportunity for fraud which the government has repeatedly seized. If the election is to be free and fair and perceived as such, the entire process must be opened to public scrutiny.

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