GECOM creating “fed up” environment amongst citizens

first_imgDear Editor,The negative misguided statements that consistently emerge from key players in the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have created a fed up environment amongst citizens. It is time President Granger’s quartet recognise that they have become a local and international laughing stock and they must desist from trying to fool this nation.They have been interchangeably using the terms Official List of Voters (OLV) and Official List of Electors (OLE) in statements of convenience in advancing the interest of the APNU/AFC cabal. The proven purpose is an effort to kerfuffle and deceive unfamiliar persons with their baseless and spurious attempts at delaying the readiness of GECOM for elections. The term OLV is the Official List used for Local Government Elections, while the OLE represents the List for the Regional and National Elections.It is clear that GECOM has a database that the organisation uses as the repository of registered persons or the Register of Registrants. It is from this ‘Register of Registrants’ that the 2015 Official List of Electors was extracted after the APNU/AFC moved the No-Confidence Motion against the People’s Progressive Party/Civic. President Donald Ramotar thereafter prorogued Parliament and with a very short period of continuous registration, followed by only a few days of Claims and Objections; GECOM produced the Official List of Electors, which was used to conduct the Regional and National Elections within the ninety-day period.The APNU/AFC coalition parties at the time, advanced in the National Assembly and used the same Continuous Registration and Claims and Objection accepted formula to extend the life of the list from three months to six months. Further, they hurriedly held Local Government Elections in 2016 in an effort to test their strength. APNU and AFC individually used the same Register of Registrants along with a short period of Continuous Registration and simultaneously did the Claims and Objection in order to prepare the Official list of Voters.It is of significant note that in the process of holding two Local Government Elections, the Government, through its Ministry of Communities, introduced eleven new Local Authority Areas (LAAs), with changes in several Neighbourhood Democratic Councils’ boundaries. In these instances, the same cycles of the periodical Continuous Registration and the Claims and Objection were repeated and it cannot be made clearer that these are the acceptable methods for GECOM to keep the OLV and the OLE in a state of readiness for any election. With the passing of the No-Confidence Motion, GECOM Chief Executive Officer, Keith Lowenfield and GECOM Public Relations Officer said that GECOM is ready for Elections.It is also useful to observe that at the recent Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) case to which GECOM was a party, the entity failed to make a timely submission for obvious reasons. They simply do not have any rational candour in the face of the facts. However, they later said that GECOM could not hold Elections within the three-month period specified in Article 106 of the Constitution because the matter was the subject of court cases. Secondly, because President David Granger did not name a date for elections and that GECOM did not have the necessary funding.It is even clear that through the constitutionally approved method of the No-Confidence Motion, the Opposition legitimately booted the APNU/AFC coalition Government on December 21, 2018. In keeping with the Constitution, we should have had National and Regional Elections before March 21, 2019. Ms Excellence Dazzell, the Attorney contracted by GECOM, recently provided her legal opinion on the issues which give greater clarity and exposes the lack of prudence and alacrity of Granger’s quartet at GECOM to hold elections.In her advice dated May 13, 2019, to Commissioners and the Chief Election Officer of GECOM at a statutory meeting, she made reference of the illegality of the need for house-to-house registration to create a new list of electors. Instead, she said the current list, which expired at the end of April, should be updated. Further, the opinion refers to The Election Laws (Amendment) Act 15 of 2000, section 7 (1) which states that “where there is an interval of more than six months after the qualifying date…which the official list of electors…is prepared under section 5 (1) and the day appointed for the next election after that date, the Commissioner shall cause the Official List of Electors to be revised, in accordance with the procedure established by the Commission by regulations”.In the 1985 Regional and National Elections, Catholic Bishop Benedict Singh, Anglican Bishop Rudolph George, along with representatives of the Bar Association, categorically described the massive Fraud perpetrated against the nation by the PNC agents, while the Human Rights Association issued a joint statement in which they condemned the Elections as dishonest.The groups made reference to “the familiar and sordid catalogue of widespread disenfranchisement, multiple voting, ejection of polling agents, threats, intimidations, violence, and collusion by police and army personnel,” The reactions of GECOM’s Commissioner have trended similarly but these dark and nasty days must never be returned to Guyana.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more