GECOM responds to PPP/C’s protests

Dear Editor,

As the organisation that is responsible for conducting national elections in Guyana, the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) undertakes these procedures transparently, and in accordance with the law. While this has been explained and attested before now, it is important for us to reiterate this fact, in light of the recent protests, held by members of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).

While we respect the rights of citizens to protest, since it is a common feature of a democracy, we abhor misinformation, libellous, slanderous and boisterous assertions about Gecom during your (PPP/C) demonstrations.

As an independent body, the activities of Gecom, specific to elections and National Registration, are approved by the Commission.

This Commission comprises six Commissioners (three nominated by APNU/AFC and three by the PPP/C), along with the Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally. The Commission deliberates, pronounces and votes on decisions and work plans to be executed by the Secretariat. It therefore means that Dr Surujbally does not exclusively make decisions concerning Gecom, instead, these decisions are made by a body of Commissioners.

In addition, all activities at the Polling Stations and Registration Offices are conducted in the presence of Party Agents, who are there to witness and ensure that all activities are conducted in a lawful and transparent manner. On Elections Day, these Party Agents are also required to sign the Statements of Poll and collect a copy for their respective parties. The Statements of Poll are posted outside the Polling Stations after the counting and tallying processes are completed, as the law stipulates. Gecom will not break the law to satisfy political expediency.

Given the measures implemented, how could 2015 General Elections been “rigged”? Why would Gecom set out to “rig” any elections? The votes were counted – in the presence of the Party Agents. The Commission provided the nation with the results, within the time frame stipulated by law. It is now left for us to prove that wise man wrong when he said that “the hardest thing an Elections Body can do is convince the losers that they have lost”.

Meanwhile, Gecom will proceed on the activities scheduled for this autonomous body. The 8th Cycle of Continuous Registration begins on June 6, as outlined in the notices published. We will be providing further guidance via the media, as required.

A brand new and due House-to-House Registration will follow, probably as early as next year, as it has been a part of our mode of operations – not because we were pushed by any political party.


Guyana Elections


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