Commonwealth SG scolds GECOM over delays in system

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GECOM’s Dr. Steve Surujbally and Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Kamalesh Sharma
GECOM’s Dr. Steve Surujbally and Secretary General of the Commonwealth Secretariat, Kamalesh Sharma

[www.inewsguyana.com] –Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma has pointed out the need for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to undergo some amount of reform as it relates to the delivery and transmission of election results to the general public.

Concerns about the issue were raised by Sharma during a courtesy call on Chairman of GECOM Dr. Steve Surujbally, on Sunday June 28. According to a press statement from GECOM, the courtesy call saw Surujbally and Sharma discussing a number of important issues regarding the recently conducted 2015 General and Regional Elections which included a few recommendations that could serve GECOM well in future elections. 

“One key area of discussion centered on the multi-step system currently employed by GECOM for the transmission of election results. Both gentlemen agreed that this system is loaded with all sorts of delays which can likely result in a number of unintended consequences inimical to the maintenance of peace and preservation of the good order of society. Moving forward GECOM could try to reduce the many steps currently used to transmit elections results while still maintaining unmitigated transparency,” the release stated.

Other important recommendations addressed in the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Final Report on the 2015 General and Regional Elections, would be the need to utilize more buildings as polling Stations that are properly equipped to facilitate persons living with physical disabilities.

The issue of allowing election candidates and cabinet members to enter Polling Stations as Political Party Agents was also raised with the Secretary General noting that the practice should be revised and further clarified, so as to avoid unnecessary confusion among electors on Polling Day.

“With regard to the functioning of the local media during the elections period, it was recommended that the signed Media Code of Conduct be accompanied by severe punitive measures for offenders, so as to dissuade other potential violators. Also, that the state-owned media must provide equitable coverage of all political parties and move away from the temptation to provide unfettered access to one party only,” GECOM noted.

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