GECOM will deliver once election date is set – PRO
Following the successful passage of the no-confidence motion brought by the Opposition last Friday, which saw the APNU/AFC Government being toppled, General and Regional Elections are now expected to be held within 90 days, and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is now tasked with pulling off these elections – which observers will keep a close watch on .
GECOM Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward, when contacted on Thursday, reassured the nation that the electoral body was well prepared to rise to the challenges considering the recent turn of events.
She stated that the Commission would uphold its constitutional mandate, and would have to immediately put systems in place to run off the elections once a date was set.
“For us at GECOM, it’s our constitutional mandate to conduct General and Regional Elections as well as Local Government Elections. If that is the decision that we will have to conduct elections within a short period, then we will have to ensure that those elections are held as required, because it’s our constitutional mandate. I’m sure that our Standard Operating Procedures will click into gear and we will be prepared to execute elections at a time we have been asked to do,” Ward noted.
At an emergency press conference after the adjournment of Friday’s sitting of the National Assembly, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo posited that while the outcome was unpredictable, it must be accepted.
“Guyanese must understand that the democratic process is sometimes unpredictable. You may have results that are not planned for … but the outcome has to be accepted … It may be a surprise to some, it may be a shock to others, it may be welcomed by some and others may rejoice over the results but that is how democracy works and we are fully committed to the rule of law,” he posited.
In a shocking turn of events, A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Member of Parliament Charrandas Persaud voted with the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) in favour of the no-confidence motion, which was brought by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, sending the coalition Administration into a tailspin.
While Persaud’s former coalition colleagues have complained about being betrayed by the vote, the parliamentary Opposition has thrown its support behind the MP’s right to vote in whichever direction his conscience leads him.
Jagdeo has since called for political engagement between the Government and Opposition to chart a way forward for the coming months and to plan for fresh elections.
President David Granger has already committed to following the provisions outlined in the Constitution, facilitating early elections and engaging in dialogue with the Opposition.
Meanwhile, when asked about the medical condition of the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson, the PRO asserted that he was still on medical leave and his return was yet to be determined.
The next statutory meeting of the Commission is slated for January 7.