Earthworks set to strengthen Guyana’s electoral system – AG – Guyana Times
HomeTop StoriesEarthworks being laid to strengthen Guyana’s electoral system – AG
… Want a life sentence for election riggers
A Government led by Dr Irfaan Ali holds true to its promise to ensure that Guyana has free and fair elections given the efforts of the A Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) agents to General rigging March 2, 2020 and Regional Elections.
In this regard, the Attorney General’s Chambers has begun the foundation for strengthening the country’s electoral system, which will close major gaps in the process. This was recently revealed by Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall during an interview on Kaieteur Radio. According to the Attorney General, a small unit has already been established within the drafting department to gather the necessary pieces of legislation for review.
“The world called on us, Guyana called on us and we promised, when we arrived in Government, that we would make broad reforms at the level of legislation to ensure that, as far as possible, we bridge the gaps, close ‘ the loopholes, strengthen the weaknesses, which the abusers exploited and almost succeeded in stealing the Government, ”the AG said during the radio broadcast. The Government will seek changes including the establishment of Voting Statements (SoP) as the sole basis for tabulating results, instead of spreadsheets. The Ministry also wants SoPs to be posted online by the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) and contest political parties within 24 hours of receipt.
The Attorney General pointed out that there are very few violations of Guyana’s laws that speak to election officials and their role in trying to rig the elections. “The law in its current form offends the elector. So if you try to vote twice you will be committing a crime. If you try to impersonate another person you are committing a crime. ” However, according to Nandlall, there is no bilateral list of violations involving election officials. “And the election officials are the crazy ones, not the electorate,” he underlined. Against this background, he said that the Government will ensure that crimes are created for life imprisonment, election officials who seek to jeopardize the electoral machinery and process at any stage and that the higher the office in office, the greater the penalty to be imposed on. “So, that is a fundamental cornerstone of our agenda in Government. We know that because of our history, because of our performance, because of our competence, we will not lose free and fair elections in Guyana. It is in our interests to defend this democracy. And we know other political parties, because of their history, because of their inability, because of their corruption; they can only gain by deception. We need to strengthen our system to make sure the fraud doesn’t work, ”he asserted.
Nandlall explained that these are not constitutional changes, but amendments to the electoral laws, such as the Representation of People Act. With regard to the report that the Chief Returning Officer must prepare, the Attorney General stated that the law must clarify what this report must contain. He added that the language must be clear that no Chief Returning Officer can reasonably or unreasonably prepare his own report. “We must note in law that invalidity of votes can only be determined in an election petition and no [Chief Elections Officer] or a political party may decide whether or not a vote is invalid, outside of the established spoil vote. ” Additional biometrics, if possible, will be introduced into law, he noted, adding, “We must clarify and clear whether you have a cyclic registration system, if you can suspend that registration half way and start House- i- House Registration. ” Several high-level officials from GECOM and APNU / AFC are facing criminal charges, in what the Government said were attempts to overturn the will of the Guyanese people. The former APNU / AFC Government has also been accused of attempts to undermine democracy. It was reported that Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield reported in his last statement that the A Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) coalition had given 171,825 votes while the PPP / C won 166,343 votes. How the CEO arrived at those figures is not known, as the certified results of the recount exercise legally conducted under the supervision of GECOM and a high-level team from the Caribbean Community (Caricom) far demonstrate that the PPP / C won with 233,336 votes while the APNU / AFC garnered 217,920. The recount exercise also proved that Clairmont Mingo, District Four Returning Officer, inflated the figures in Region Four – Guyana’s largest voting area – in favor of the then caretaker coalition regime. Several other top officers of the elections body were also taken to courts including the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Volda Lawrence.