Work is starting on correcting electoral gaps, weaknesses – says AG – Kaieteur News

Work is starting on correcting electoral gaps, weaknesses – says AG

Attorney General, Anil Nandlall.

Kaieteur News – With the aim of strengthening Guyana’s electoral system, so that the fraud, corruption and gymnastics that occurred during the March 2 General and Regional Elections, as well as those events that followed, the Attorney General (AG ) and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall have revealed that work has begun on correcting those electoral gaps and weaknesses.
During an interview on Guyana’s Oil & You by Kaieteur Radio with senior Kaieteur News Journalist Kiana Wilburg, the AG was asked about the importance of strengthening the ‘check and balances’ that citizens have available in terms of changes in government. To this the AG reminded listeners of the commitment of the Civic / Civic Progressive Party to undertake “broad” reforms to ensure that gaps are bridged, that gaps are closed and that strengthening is exercised, on those weaknesses that “dysfunctionalists” made exploited them and almost succeeded in stealing government. ”
To this end, AG noted that work had already begun in that regard, with the assembly of a small unit in RE Chambers, now tasked with producing the necessary pieces of legislation, which will inform the review. He subsequently went on to add that consultations will be held with the relevant stakeholders, who will all work on correcting the gaps.
“And these are not constitutional changes we’re talking about,” the AG noted, adding, “These are simple things like the Voting Statements [which] it must be used as the basis for tabulating the results and that must be perfectly clear, so that a spreadsheet cannot be replaced, like what Mingo did – a spreadsheet that he or she summarized and given with numbers false. ”
As part of another standing requirement, Nandlall said the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and political parties would be obliged to upload SOPs online within 24 hours of receipt. Failure to adhere to such will have consequences, he noted.
“Then that [final] report that the CEO is required by law to produce – we have to explain what that report has to cover and we have to make the language clear, so that no CEO (CEO) can reasonably or unreasonably prepare his or her own report. We must note in law that the invalidity of votes can only be determined in an election petition and no CEO or political party can decide whether a vote is valid or invalid outside that which has been its spoiled or not ruined, ”the RE expressed.
Corrections and discussions will also take place as to whether a cyclical system can be halted half way and start a house-to-house registration process; and whether additional biometrics will be introduced into law.
The AG also spoke about electoral officer misconduct under GECOM and how “very few offenses” apply to them. He reminded that the laws in their current form defined offenses in relation to the conduct of the elector, such as voting twice or trying to imitate another. However, there is no bilateral list of offenses in relation to election officials, Nandlall noted.
“And what we are finding in Guyana is that the election officials are the crazy ones, not the electorate. We must create a series of offenses {punishments} to imprison life election officials who attempt to endanger the machinery and the electoral process at any stage. And the higher the job the officer holds, the greater the penalty imposed on him, ”Nandlall expressed.
Notably, GECOM CEO Keith Lowenfield, Deputy CEO Roxanne Myers, Region Four (RO) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan, as well as other GECOM staff, Shefferon February, have been charged with fraud, misconduct in office and breach of public trust. These allegations are still before the court and are said to be going to trial soon. Vice President (VP) Bharrat Jagdeo as well as the Private Sector Commission (PSC) have both called for these officials to be removed from GECOM ahead of this year’s constitutionally organized Local Government Elections (LGEs).
“That’s a fundamental cornerstone of our government agenda,” said Nandlall. “We know that because of our history, because of our performance, because of our competence… we will not lose a free and fair election in Guyana. So it is in our interests to defend this democracy. ”