Former head of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Trevor Benn, is most likely to be elected Chairman of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU), after his team members won all the spots on a 12-member Committee of Managers (CM) when the official results were declared on Monday.
This is now paving the way for Benn to continue the work he started as Chairman of the GPSCCU Interim Management Committee (IMC), and shattering hopes of a return to power led by the President of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU ), Patrick Yarde. Yarde’s team members did not win any spots, according to the election results.
However, with accusations of voting irregularities, questions about the count in Region Four, recounts and delays of declarations of official results, the disclosure of the elections over the past two days reminded someone of Guyana’s 2020 general elections.
Despite a close of 16:30 hours on Sunday, with just over 1,000 members of the credit union voting, it was not until late on Monday that the official results and statements for the elections were finally delivered .
Although the results for nine of the regions had been declared since Sunday afternoon, the official release was delayed pending the results of Region Four, where the request for recount was ordered by Coop Chief Development Officer Suresh Jaigobin. About 300 votes are said to have been cast in Region Four.
The recount began at noon on Monday.
Benn garnered a total of 1055 votes. Apart from Benn, rounding out the top 12 are Patrick Mentore (905), Arthur Gibbs (867), Jermain Hermanstyne (866), Leslyn Noble (854), Rajdai Jaganauth (846), Gillian Pollard (845), Kirwyn Mars (844), Ruth Howard (832), Saskia Eastman-Onwuzirike (813), former Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Karen Vansluytman-Corbin (778), and former Chief Labor Officer, Charles Ogle (749).
The Yarde team included former GPSCCU Chairman Patricia Went, GPSU Vice President Dawn Gardener, former Permanent Public Service Secretary Reginald Brotherson, Karen France, Dr. Victor Allen, Jennifier Melville Nelson, Althea Tucker Bristol, City Councilor Ivelaw Henry, Moses Rampal, Leon Parks and Trevor Daly.
Apart from electing members of the Management Committee, electors voted for the three persons who would form the Supervisory Committee. The spots were won by Glendon Fogenay, Dvane St John and Coretta Braithwaite-Walton, all members of Benn’s team.
For the Oversight Committee, the Yarde team’s nominees were GPSU Secretary General Kempton Alexander, former GPSCCU Management Committee member Thomas Nestor and Mortimer Livan.
A motion moved at the credit union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) has called for the Management Committee to be increased to 15 members and the number of the Supervisory Committee to be increased to five. However, this must be confirmed by the Chief Coop Development Officer (CCDO) before it can take effect.
The first election to be held by the credit union in eight years saw a low turnout as less than five per cent of the credit union’s 23,000 members participated in the voting process.
This year’s elections saw a heated contest between the two teams, with the GPSU side claiming to be disenfranchising voters, and voter irregularities on election day. Before elections day, GPSU’s side had also called for Benn’s dismissal as IMC Chairman, and filed a court order on Thursday.
However, the order for Benn’s removal was not forthcoming, GPSU VP Gardener had confirmed in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Monday. He could not say what the purpose of the court order was but noted that it had already expired. She’s unsure what the results were either.
She said she did not accept the results of the elections because it was not fair and credible.