GECOM “dragging feet” on elections timelines – PPP Chief Whip

Minister of Governance and Parliamentary Affairs, Gail Teixeira

People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) Chief Whip, Gail Texieira is not satisfied with the outcome of the meeting with Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) saying that that from all indication, the elections body is dragging its feet on hosting of National and Regional Election to be held  in accordance to Article 106 of the Constitution of Guyana.

She noted that the commission failed to satisfactorily address concerns she raised regarding the timelines, noting that there are more questions than answers following the meeting that ended abruptly.

PPP’s Chief Whip Gail Teixeira

On the other hand, Chief Whip of the Government, Amna Ally stated that it is evident from discussions at the meeting that elections cannot be held by the March 19 deadline.

On Thursday, PPP Commissioner Bibi Shadick related that Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield ought to be in possession of a work plan proposal within 90 days. This information, however, is yet to be divulged.

This comment was made by Shadick following a meeting with GECOM Chairman, James Patterson and his team.  She however, accused the Government’s Commissioners of coming up with new issues with the intention of delaying or avoiding the constitutional requirements.

She explained that she would have produced a timeline that would allow for the hosting of elections within 50 days.

She expounded on that indicating that since the Commission would have trained over 11,000 persons for the LGE, it would train every day as opposed to just weekends as well as doing other tasks simultaneously.

“I am convinced that the CEO in trying to please all his masters and is prepared to go back on the submissions he gave us and is a thoroughly confused person and at this point I said that he is not fit for the job” Shadick had said.

PNC/R Chief Whip, Amna Ally

Earlier in the year, President David Granger and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo would have met and a decision was taken for the Government and Opposition Chief Whips to meet with GECOM to determine its readiness.

However that meeting was delayed after GECOM Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson was on medical leave.

As such, Opposition Leader accused the APNU+AFC Coalition government is deliberately influencing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to delay its preparations for the impending General and Regional Elections.

GECOM, which successfully ran the Local Government Elections (LGE) in November 2018 less than three months ago, is being blamed by Government for not being ready, but it is the President of Guyana who has to give a date for elections and not GECOM as being touted.


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