PPP Commissioners blast GECOM for blatant disregard of mandate

House-to-house registration vacancy ads

– ask Secretariat to withdraw ads and commence preparations for elections

The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Commissioners on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have noted with great concern several advertisements for vacancies at the Commission which appeared in the newspapers of Sunday, March 3, 2019.
See full text of statement below:
“We note, with great concern, several advertisements for vacancies at the Guyana Elections Commission, which appeared in the newspapers of Sunday, 3rd March, 2019.
These vacancies relate to personnel required for the conduct of House to House Registration.
The Commission has not taken a decision to commence House to House Registration and as a consequence, these advertisements are perplexing, at best.
This comes in light of the impending need for the conduct of General and Regional Elections, mandated by the successful passage of a no confidence motion in the National Assembly on the 21st December, 2018.
Despite our repeated requests, both within the Commission and publicly, for the Secretariat to commence preparations for the conduct of elections, no step has been taken in this regard. Instead, one excuse after the other has been proffered as for the delay on such commencement. The latest excuse of funding is, in our opinion, a contrived attempt to cause further delay.
We maintain that House to House Registration is not necessary at this time. There are several legally prescribed processes for the revision of the electoral roll to enable the conduct of elections. These processes ought to be utilized in light of the constitutionally mandated timeline for the holding of the elections aforesaid.
We view this action of the Secretariat as a flagrant disregard of its mandate enshrined in the Constitution.
In light of the foregoing, we call on the Secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission to immediately withdraw the advertisements and with similar immediacy, commence the preparation for the conduct of elections in the manner and time specified by law”.
On December 21, 2018, Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament (MP) Charrandas Persaud voted in favour of the no-confidence motion against the Government, during the debate on this matter, held in the National Assembly. During the reading of the motion, the Speaker’s opinion was that the no’s have it.
However, Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira called for a division for the tabulation of the votes.
During the tabulation, all 32 of the Opposition MPs voted in favour of the motion being carried, with the AFC MP giving them the one vote needed to have the motion passed. Since then, the PPP has been urging both the Government and GECOM to start preparations for elections to be held in the month of March, in keeping with the Constitution and the laws of Guyana.
However, the Government has refused to recognise the legitimacy of the no-confidence motion passed and GECOM has cited that the three-month period as enshrined in the Constitution following the passing of such a motion is too short a time frame for the Commission to prepare for elections.