GECOM awaiting election date from Local Gov’t Minister

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Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally.
Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally.

[www.inewsguyana.com]Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr. Steve Surujbally has cleared the air as to who is responsible for setting the  date for the holding of Local Government Elections.

When questioned about the issue on Monday (October 21), Dr. Surjubally said, “there is no confusion; in local Government Elections the Minister under advice of course will make that decision, where national elections are concerned it would be the President, again with consultation with Gecom and its readiness”.

Additionally, the Chairman noted that GECOM is in a state of readiness if or when the Minister is prepared to call the elections.

Dr. Surujbally’s pronouncement has cleared the confusion, which was created by the Local Government Minister himself, Ganga Persaud, who gave a conflicting response as to who is really responsible for calling the elections at a news conference on October 11.

At that press conference, Persaud had stated that it is not within his ambit to call those elections.

“The Minister naming the date for elections is more of a fallacy than a readiness issue because no Minister of government will seek to step out there and name a date knowing clearly that the elections commission will not be ready…we will just be making a mockery of things,” Ganga Persaud has said.

Minister of Local Government, Ganga Persaud.
Minister of Local Government, Ganga Persaud.

GECOM has since explained that the Commission has a timetable indeed, which outlines a strategy once the date has been announced. GECOM’s plan requires approximately six months before the nation can vote. But this plan Gecom says does not kick in until the Local Government Minister announces a date.

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