…up (GECOM) loose ends
From the word go, your Eyewitness maintained that the then newly-appointed GECOM Chair, Claudette Singh blundered when she tried to do a “Solomon” on the H2H registration – sneakily ordered by her illegally-appointed predecessor to check Granger’s 200,000 “inflated” charge… Knowing fully-well the PPP had principledly not participated in the exercise – therefore making the collected data suspect – rather throwing out the latter and using the Claims and Objections (C&O) to compile the Official List of Electors (OLE), she halted the exercise in mid-stream, but kept the 370,000 names collected. And simultaneously ordered the C&O of a Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) drawn from the extant National Register of Registrants (NRR) – as the PPP had been insisting all along.
Now what sense did this make – -save to tell the PNC they got their (truncated H2H) and the PPP that they got their C&O??!! This was tantamount to cutting the (electoral list) baby in two – which confirmed that the PNC really didn’t care for the baby, having mangled it from 1968 to 1990!! At the time, the PPP, trying to be polite, said that at best, the H2H with 370,000 names might’ve captured a couple of thousands of voters who’d never registered. A wasted $4 billion exercise.
So, we ended up with two lists – the one coming out from the legally mandated C&O and the one from the aborted H2H foetus. The GECOM Chair now made another head-scratching executive decision. (With the Commission divided down the middle, every decision taken is hers, with her casting vote.) She ordered a billion-dollar exercise to a Jamaican firm to “cross match” the H2H data with those on the NRR – including fingerprints. But before that the H2H data had to be laboriously encoded. More money, more time!!
So, months later, the H2H came back with 60,000 names unmatched. Now this showed that the exercise was worth it, no? Even though this would further inflate Granger’s 200,000! But not so fast!! GECOM itself did a manual check and found 17,000 of the 60,000 names on the NRR!! So much for the Jamaican “cross matching”!! Then they found that 23,000 were under 18…and shouldn’t be on the OLE! What to do with the remaining 20,000?
The Opposition Leader magnanimously suggested that these be checked by GECOM and political scrutineers in a field exercise. Weeks later, your Eyewitness now reads in the Chronicle that they do what the Opp Leader suggested but on a 10 per cent sample!
Meaning 2000 names to be checked after spending billions and billions!! Oh Judgement…!
Over in TT, their law allowing folks to be charged if their assets are out of whack with their income was put to the test for the first time earlier this week. It was passed only last April, and generated some controversy, but eventually both the Government and Opposition were in agreement!! Now if you live in Guyana, you know we ABSOLUTELY need such a law!!
Just look around you – doesn’t matter where you live in Guyana, village or town – and you KNOW that something’s not right with some big house, or big car or fancy lifestyle of some folks. Over in TT, the Police, acting upon their own recognisance or upon information given, investigate then apply to a Judge for review. If she feels the evidence is sufficient – as in the TT case – she grants an ex-parte order. The accused then has 28 days to show that the assets weren’t obtained criminally.
Bear in mind, that bribes are illegal and so if we had the law here, a whole lotta cops (owning buses?), customs officers, GL&SC employees and Ministers of the Government would have a whole lot to show!!
Starting with the ex-JUNIOR Minister of Public Infrastructure who decided she’d prioritise her out-of-whack PRIVATE Infrastructure!!
…up the morganatic marriage
In “The Crown”, a gauche American asks the Duke of Edinburgh how come if a King marries, his wife becomes a “Queen”, but the husband of the Queen doesn’t become the “King”.
Maybe, Khemraj Ramjattan can better answer the question??