Keen observations being given to the operations at GECOM (Pt 2)

first_imgDear Editor,It is timely and extremely heartening to read that the Canadian Government, through its eminent High Commissioner, is advocating for free and fair elections locally. Notably, Canadian High Commissioner to Guyana, Lilian Chatterjee recently said that: “Canada has always been supportive of free elections in Guyana and would advocate for this to continue.”The recent Nominations Day fiasco provides evidence of the less-than-acceptable behaviour that is being tolerated by many of GECOM’s Returning Officers from representatives of the PNCR. These happenings reflect the staff imbalances and no doubt, compromise preparation and contesting the upcoming Local Government Elections. It is imperative to have a careful look and pursue comprehensive scrutiny towards justifying remedial actions.The nature of our democracy demands trust, confidence, accountability and transparency in all that is happening at GECOM. The Chairman of GECOM must respect United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and request a meeting towards following up on the findings of scope mission conducted by this most recognised and influential international organisation. This is in view of the pressing need for aiding and improving the accountability and verification mechanisms.It is no coincidence that the Information Technology (IT) expert whose services are desperately needed is being deliberately avoided. This is particularly relevant given that the laws of Guyana call for the IT tabulation and the manual tabulation to be completed before the election result is announced. The Chairman must, therefore, update the nation on his reasons for avoiding the findings of the United Nations Mission addressing this key support.The issue of ‘Missing in action’ and ‘hiding’ of GECOM’s key elections officials at critical junctures must be dealt with now. It would be recalled that in 2015, Mr Keith Lowenfield announced to the GECOM Commissioners that he cannot announced the Regional and General Elections results, because there were many ‘false’ Statements of Polls. On Thursday, May 14, 2015, when he was supposed to elucidate on the ‘false’ Statements of Polls, he went missing. Again when Lowenfield was supposed to be available to give leadership and guidance to his Returning Officers, he went into ‘hiding’. Additionally, Melanie Marshall, the Region Four Returning Officer in 2015, could not be found at critical times when she was required. This letter writer demands that all cats and mice games must stop now!The blatant disrespect for some Guyanese and vindictive attitude of the so-called employment ‘bureau’ at GECOM must be abandoned and an effective, criteria-driven system applied. The ‘Lords’ of GECOM who wish to continue embarrassing many Guyanese because of their ethnic background, are the true evils of the system. Every rope has an end and they should be wary that biased illegal disenfranchisement of citizens may lead to serious consequences.As we approach the date for Local Government Elections, the nation is looking keenly at what is happening. There are serious and too many things that are happening to strengthen mistrust and there are serious questions in respect to accountability, transparency, and corruption.Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more