The vulgar refusal of Mr Granger to dissolve Parliament in keeping with his obligations under the Constitution of Guyana further exposes the flagrant dictatorial hegemony of his and the PNC’s abuse of the presidential authority.
Given the continuous and relentless exposure of their clandestine contaminating intent at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the cabal now attempts to further influence and scapegoat the organisation’s willing or unwilling patrimony to justify the ongoing exploitation of Guyanese decency. Citizens must, therefore, be prepared and decisively stop this runaway train now!
Public media recently reported the most unacceptable and flimsy excuses proffered by Joseph Harmon who said that “there is a likelihood that additional funds would be needed to facilitate the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections,” while Mr Granger also spoke to the media about having to access funds in the event of national emergencies.
The exigencies to which this abusive stand-in president refers are only in the conception of the PNC and their conveniently dumb coalition partners.
Although by now, most citizens have recognised the untrustworthiness of Mr Granger and his cabal from the fallacies they have adumbrated, one would have hoped in advancing national interests for some form of validity in the cabal’s statements. These false pretences, however, would be quickly recognised and extinguished with even the most cursory examination of the GECOM financial scenario.
The facts reveal that the organisation received over $9 billion between April 2019 and November 2019. In the 2019 National Budget, appropriations approved for GECOM amounted to $ 5.546 billion, while Parliament also approved an additional amount in the sum of $3.482 billion in May 2019. This was after James Patterson indicated to caretaker President Granger, that the Commission lacked the financial resources to facilitate early elections.
Further, a substantial amount of money was ‘rolled over’ from 2018 for which GECOM must be accountable. It is of note that the Auditor General had serious questions with respect to the 2014 and 2015 Audit done for GECOM, and it is important that Mr Keith Lowenfield clear the entire documented audit queries in the interest of transparency.
Certainly, GECOM will have to account for all excessive and lavish spending, and the GECOM budget must address the use of over $10 billion before other allocations are considered. How they will account for the use of these finances will be interesting because the House-to-House (H2H) activities were truncated, and GECOM never utilised more than $4 billion to conduct General and Regional Elections.
At the time of writing, it is a known fact that audits for the years 2016, 2017, 2018, and now 2019 are pending. We must, therefore, not allow our taxpayers’ money to fund the reported thieving occurrences at the GECOM Secretariat. There is simply no trust, confidence, or accountability in the Lowenfield styled operations, even as we depend on the involvement of these same people to deliver credible elections.
It is, therefore, necessary that Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh move swiftly to address the counterchecks towards restoring the trust, confidence, and accountability, that are critical to the delivery of free and fair elections. Further, the question of the renewal of Lowenfield’s contract must be carefully looked at and fully discussed at the level of the Commission, since the renewal of any staff contract falls under its mandate.
Given the apparent conjuring up which resulted in the Lowenfield’s partisan H2H, it is very necessary for this column to sustain the strong public advocacy for improvements regarding the Secretariat’s apparent hesitancy to provide timely information with respect to the Revised List of Electors (RLE), and by extension, the Official List of Electors (OLE).
Political parties expect to have sufficient time to scrutinise the RLE before GECOM produces the OLE. In this respect, they must be given a suitable period to review the changes, and not be over-rushed at Lowenfield’s fantasy.
It is also a known fact that in addition to the PPP/C and APNU, there are at this time about six emerged parties who have signalled their intention to contest the upcoming elections. These parties would have to find backers of their list from the OLE and GECOM’s delays and inefficacy is not helping the process. Rather, the delayed approach would serve to complicate the fluency required in a transparent process.
Readers would have observed that Vincent Alexander, after making all sorts of wicked and slanderous contrary remarks about the unuplifted ID cards, is now very quiet as GECOM agrees to an indefinite extension for citizens to pick up their ID cards. GECOM must also review the proposed plan to put out a supplemental list.
Any supplemental list will be a challenge and it will lead to confusion. Notably, the truncated H2H Registration is in serious trouble given that cross-matching done in Jamaica is highly questionable, with over sixty thousand names being queried. While GECOM awaits the results of the cross-matching data, it is clearer that the H2H cannot be used as a consideration for the RLE and that exercise was a total waste of money and time.
More serious is the fact that up to the last statutory meeting on Tuesday, the Commission was still waiting for the cross-matching results from the just-concluded Claims and Objections exercise. GECOM must produce the Revised List of Electors and all Guyanese are waiting to see the Official List of Electors. This has serious consequences for Nomination Day scheduled for January 10, 2020. The RLE will have to be out for public and party scrutiny twenty-one days before the CEO has his final say and produces the OLE.
Now the ball is in the Illegal President’s court, as we all know that GECOM has enough money. So why wait? Dissolve Parliament now!