Home Letters President and his Cabinet should do the right thing
In light of the ticking constitutional clock, the suspicious silence of the unilaterally appointed GECOM’s Chairman Justice (retired) James Patterson, puts GECOM under the radar for highest scrutiny. Whatever the reason for President David Granger’s unilateralism, no skullduggery will be accepted as we arrive at the crossroads.
The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Mr Keith Lowenfield are bungling with the necessary preparation for Regional and National Elections which are constitutionally due not later than March 19, 2019. This lack of accountability and transparency is very awkward, invites a crisis, and will have significant consequences for all and sundry.
In the past, Chairman Patterson publically spoke about the confidence he has in the GECOM staff. Further, the GECOM Public Relations Officer (PRO) reassured Guyanese that GECOM will be ready to carry out its function when called upon. This column, therefore, demands in the interest of all citizens, drastic changes to their ‘pussyfooting’ approach by the CEO and Chairman. This column definitively calls for swift decisive action in executing the business of their obligated constitutional responsibilities.
We note the calls of Commissioners and Staff members at GECOM who are very worried and have asked serious questions about the inventory of the existing stocks at the GECOM head office located at Coldingen, East Coast Demerara. The fact that there ought to be tens of millions of dollars in stock there and the lack of audit over several years is of strongest concern. It sets up the pitch for limitless and the familiar fraudulent practices already exposed by the Auditor General to be repeated as an excuse for short procurement timelines.
I urge the immediate commencement of refresher updates for the thousands of staff recently trained and used at the Local Government Elections, and a strong criteria-based approach for persons who are selected to work by the Commissioners at the Secretariat. GECOM must also move to procure voter education delivery service in a fair and transparent way, towards the mandatory polls.
We call on the President and his Cabinet to do the right thing and answer the Guyanese people at the Polls.