LGE is most welcome, and GECOM must deliver

Dear Editor,
Local Government Elections (LGE) is scheduled for this year and every effort must be advanced to ensure its conduct, fully within our Constitutionally enshrined democracy framework. Its welcomed role in regulating, empowering, and supporting development at the municipal, community, and village levels cannot be understated. Consequently, the focus on its acceptable delivery must be prioritized.
The committed leadership of the President Dr Irfaan led Government in ensuring a supportive financial platform towards this end must be applauded. The Guyanese Nation, therefore, demands that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), take all steps to deliver a transparent, free, fair, and credible process. Renewed efforts must be enhanced by acceptable oversight, procedure, and professionalism, which will far improve its badly damaged image realized throughout March 2020 General and Regional Elections debacle.
The widespread condemnation of the lawlessness taking place at the Georgetown Municipality needs no further justification and must be stopped now. Other serious levels of corruption exposed at several other Local Government Councils have not complemented the Governments’ National Development Strategy. Rather, they serve as restrictions to the support and provision of essential services that are required to transform these communities. The acceptable remedial approach to removing these obstacles and ease the sufferings from poor LEADERSHIP at the local level is free, fair, and timely LGE.
Since earning the right to govern our nation as a consequence of the massive support by a wide majority of citizens, the Central Government has done and continues to do an excellent job. From the ongoing evidential work towards rapid development before us, it has become obvious to the Guyanese people that the ‘screened horizon webs’ of the five APNU/AFC budgets which obscured our vision of success together with their failed promises, must now be obliterated from our thought process.
Notwithstanding the threatening COVID-19 environment, an incentivized construction ‘boom’ is off at a great pace. Streets and Roads in many areas are also being improved rapidly and thousands of Houselots are being distributed under a genuine Central Government development program. Given the extremely poor achievement in the areas of Drainage and Irrigation by the previous APNU/AFC regime, it has been identified that the required supportive infrastructure thrust, must be tackled at all three levels. Central Government is now combining with the Neighborhood Democratic and the Regional Democratic Councils to advance the improvement of our communities.
Editor, Elections at the Municipalities, the NDCs, and Village councils will bring fresh and better leadership where this is lacking. The likely impact points to improved synergies from this combined effort. It is critical, therefore, that the Local Government Elections are not unnecessarily pushed back in keeping with the delaying tactics that some PNC and APNU forces are reportedly trying to effect.
It is public knowledge that GECOM is paying millions of dollars to the permanent staff members who are expected to deliver. Aside from the charged corrupt lot who should be permanently delinked from the Organization, there are no acceptable reasons why the organization should not be ready to hold LGEs on schedule. There ought to be no dependency on any sole staff of the Secretariat such as the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield whose abominable behavior has held the organization in a vice of untrustworthy regressiveness.
Further, the nation is asking where did Keith Lowenfield secure or hide the Statements of Polls, (SOPs) of March 02, 2020, General and Regional Elections. No one reported seeing him extract the documents from the auspices of the normally secured and controlled areas of the organization. Suddenly, he turned up to deliver documents following the instructive ruling of the Chief Justice, which obviously, forced the SOPs from his unworthy closet.
Under the circumstances, it is imperative that those SOPs lodged with the Court registry, be carefully scrutinized to ensure sure compliance with the published verifiable security features. One observer has suggested that through such necessary attention, our nation might be now be appraised of the true origin of still undetermined 2015 fake SOPs.
In this election petition, no stone must be left unturned in exposing the rotten intent and actions of the key fraudulent officials who attempted to derail the true results of the Election held on March 02, 2020. It will be interesting for the public to see and hear why the Chief Elections Officer did not produce the SOPs; or the correct results, particularly in response to the request of Chairperson Claudette Singh of the Commission. Keith Lowenfield must stand the consequences for his blatant disrespect to the Commission, and publicly reprehensible disrespect for the Chairwoman of GECOM.
Naturally, it is implicit that once requested, there is an intent to forensically examine the evidence in these SOPs. It is anticipated that foolproof methods of authentication will be utilized including the use of specialists regardless of the costs, in exposing the culpable actors. A determination of culpability must ensure appropriate sanctions to deter similar future inclinations and also realize a surcharge to recover the millions of dollars that were unnecessarily expended by GECOM during the subsequent five months and recount activities.
In the meanwhile, the Chairwoman and Commission of GECOM MUST act to direct the necessary activation of the Stanard Operational procedures of the Organization, to ensure that the welcome and due Local Government Elections are delivered in a free and fair manner, and with efficiency this year.

Neil Kumar