Some Government representatives have recounted their plans to straighten out GECOM, so we don’t repeat the tragedy of our last elections. Your Eyewitness doesn’t have to remind you about those goings-on, of which the stained bedsheets were only one episode does he? Thought not! He’d hoped they’d get this done pronto, because we’re assured that Local Government Elections (LGE) will be conducted this year.
The AG pointed out that some of the necessary changes need amendments of some Articles of the Constitution demanding a two-thirds majority vote in the National Assembly. Clearly, this signals a changing of the actual structure, staffing and composition of the Commission itself – not the Secretariat, which executes the policies set out by the former. The rules for staffing the Commission are laid out in Article 161  via the Constitutional Amendment Act No. 2 of 2000.
Basically, these rules go back to the “Carter Formula” introduced for the 1992 elections, through which the Government and the Combined Opposition each select 3 Commissioners. And then the Opposition Leader submits a list of six candidates to the President to select one as the Chair.
From our own (bitter) history, we know that the way the Commissioners are selected will always lead to a Mexican Standoff: both sides with guns drawn, daring the other side to shoot and face certain death! And while the selection of the Chair, who was then understood to be the casting-vote arbiter, had been previously non-contentious, the Sanctimonious Gangster has now irretrievably changed this. The man went backwards to try and impose his own “toothless poodle”, James Patterson, to match Burnham’s Harold Bollers – obviously to facilitate the rigging he always had in mind. But with this change out for now, guess we’ll have to depend on the incumbent Claudette Singh to follow Spike Lee’s advice and “do the right thing”.
So, what’s been promised? Well, that the Secretariat’s CEO, Lowenfield; Dep CEO Myers, and Reg 4 RO Mingo must go. No problem there, but is that it? And this is where your Eyewitness believes there must be a proper inquiry immediately. That dyspeptic trio are just the tip of a very humongous Secretariat iceberg that’ll derail any hope for fair elections. The ERC had already received a complaint and inquired into the hiring practices that led to its ethnically-skewed composition. All Guyanese understand the implications of this selection process, which certainly doesn’t end up with the fittest – just the most compliant!
The AG also mentioned that some rules will be changed to head off situations like where official SOPs still haven’t been shown to the electorate.
The PNC will find new loopholes once their personnel are inside the Trojan Horse!
…in the GPF
Your Eyewitness received quite a few comments on his piece detailing the fallout from the Chaplain’s prayer for the GPF to repent of its “sins”. One ex-GPF officer revealed that the person who fired the Chaplain didn’t even have the authority to do so!! And that’s part of the problem right there, isn’t it? Military and paramilitary organisations are characterised by their “chain-of-command” structure. Folks just can’t arrogate to themselves powers that weren’t delegated! This woulda been grounds for an appointment with the firing squad! Today, a suspension?
But the question, “where do we begin”, elicited the same answer in many: Traffic cops. In this day of “a car in every driveway”, the most frequent encounter of ordinary folks with the GPF is with the men and women in light blue shirts. Frequently holding (non-calibrated) speed guns, or behind (non-authorised) roadblocks, they even more frequently demand booty (a fried rice evidently doesn’t work anymore!) or threaten a trip “to the station”.
Fix with body cams?
…in the PNC
We all have a vested interest in a viable PNC for our democratic future. No…not because we need aggravation, but peace of mind.
But who will wean them away from their rigging ways?