… Says election petitions are no excuse for readiness for LGE
With Local Government Elections (LGE) due next year, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has urged the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to clean the house of all its threatened staff and prepare to hold the elections when they are due.
In a statement on Saturday, the PSC noted that while elections are over and President Dr Irfaan Ali has declared the winner since August, GECOM has not received word on its readiness for LGE.
GECOM has also not said anything about the fate of the staff involved during the five months of controversy that saw the former A Partnership for National Unity / Alliance for Change (APNU / AFC) award making desperate efforts to rig ‘ r the elections.
“GECOM senior officials, including Chief Returning Officer Keith Lowenfield and Class 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, and a number of other officers who assist these officers and an Information Technology Officer, are being charged in the courts of “misconduct in public office. , ”The PSC noted.
“However, as far as we know, none of these officers have been dismissed from their employment with GECOM, nor have they been suspended from duty. It is inconceivable and certainly unacceptable that GECOM should go on to hold Local Government Elections while these officers continue to be employed and involved in the conduct of these elections.
The Commission questioned why GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh has gone silent and the nation has not heard from the election agency about her willingness to hold LGE, even though President Ali has made a commitment to hold it. However, if the silence is due to the APNU / AFC election petition currently before the High Court, the PSC noted that this cannot be used as an excuse.
“The Chairman of GECOM cannot refuse to take action to clean up the Commission on the grounds that the APNU / AFC has filed an election petition before the courts. It is likely that Local Government Elections will be held well before the petition is finally heard. ”
“The election petition cannot be used as a way of delaying or delaying GECOM’s readiness to hold an election. Our country, since August 2, 2020, has already begun to move forward and prosper from the political stability in place and the obvious progress being made of a host of new development expenditure, private and public, immediately the horizon despite the ongoing challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. ”
The PSC described it as a “highly regressive” step, if GECOM’s failure to properly prepare for LGE when it becomes due, would lead to Guyana being threatened with further political instability.
“Therefore, the Private Sector Commission wishes to encourage the Chair of the Electoral Commission to speak up and speak out about the steps being taken to put right everything that has gone wrong at GECOM and to make it fast , ”Said the PSC.