What’s the problem at GECOM?

Dear Editor,
As Guyana rapidly slips into a very serious constitutional crisis, the PNC/APNU orchestrators act as though citizens will allow the cabal to bully them and rule dictatorially by staying in power illegally. This is far from being realistic and our nation is in for its most trying times since gaining independence approximately 50 years ago. The recent ruling of Court of Appeal Justice Rishi Persaud in denying the request for staying the fallen Government status quo, reifies the maladroitness in the Government actions.
Critical among the fomenting issues that led us to the precipitously threatening position is the demonstrated characteristic untrustworthiness which seems to have no point of redress. They have been outright uncaring, dishonest to the nation and full of vengeance against any citizen who stops to identify the APNU/AFC Administrator’s clandestine, fraudulent and underhanded intent. Thanks to the Constitution, there is a measure of recourse that the Opposition utilised to successfully challenge and fall this visible epidemic.
Aside from the significantly burdensome tax-laden investiture imposed by the APNU/AFC regime, President Granger’s previous sidestepping of the legitimate expectancy in the naming of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was wait laid and deliberate. Their sinister and fraudulent orchestrations were surprising to many, even supporters, and spewed on citizens under a dictatorship program designed towards an unconscionable spendthrift position. Guyanese now demand the indemnification of this ungainly situation in their favour.
The APNU/AFC leader’s conjured delays and the defiance of President Granger’s inappropriate treatment of the result of the No-Confidence Motion is yet another attempt at constitutional subversion and abuse that Guyanese will not allow to happen. Word on the street from the echelons of the PNC/R-led APNU/AFC coalition is that the Opposition does not have the testicular fortitude to take any actions in the likely constitutional crisis. In abstract mode, they seem myopic to the international ramifications even as citizens are now readying for the trenches in revolt. Our people must unite, and cost it what it will, stand up to any illegal regime.
The Government is on a path of political influencing while some GECOM officials are playing the delaying games with the constitutional clock ticking. This makes many administrative officials of GECOM complicit of a major fraud on our citizens’ rights. It is pellucid that GECOM’s Chief Executive Officer Lowenfield already said that the voters’ list is valid up to April 30, 2019, it is clean and ready for elections. Additionally, Public Relations Officer Ms Yolanda Ward in speaking to the press on December 28, 2018, 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”.
The clear inconsistencies that have since emerged with GECOM stating that it needs approximately five months to be ready are farcical and demand persons responsible to be held accountable following the necessary inquiry after the elections. More so, GECOM’s announcements that the agency does not have elections funds and that it will proceed with house-to-house registration is a flagrant violation of its constitutional mandate and obligations. It is GECOM’s role to be ready for any arising elections in keeping with the intent of any circumstance enshrined in the Constitution.
Article 222 A of the Constitution provides for the lump sum appropriation of funds to GECOM to deal with as necessary in such manner as it deems fit for the efficient discharge of its functions, subject only to the financial practices and procedures approved by the National Assembly to ensure accountability. With the Constitution being supreme of all national legislation, there is simply no rational excuse regarding GECOM’s failure to do what is required.
It is the constitutional mandate that National Elections be held within 90 days from December 21, 2018, and, therefore, that of GECOM. There have been many previous precedents of notice of elections advised to the Commission in shorter timelines and the implementation executed within the period. The Government now conveniently represents that young persons will be disenfranchised. It is widely known, however, that GECOM has offices across the country that should normally be used for them to facilitate the Claims and Objections. Additionally, the current database system of the organisation allows for automatic update of persons achieving the voting age of 18 years. So what’s the problem?

Neil Kumar