[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says that while there are no laws preventing persons from conducting exit polls, it is a practice that may serve to create some amount of unrest in Guyana’s society at such a sensitive period.
GECOM’s official statement on the issue of exit polls comes after Former President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo would have called for APNU+AFC’s James Bond to be arrested after he conducted an exit poll on the results of the recently completed Disciplined Services voting.
GECOM in the statement noted that it is appealing for political agents and Parties to cease such activities since it will serve to “undermine” the electoral process.
“The duty of declaring the final official results of the 2015 General and Regional Elections rests exclusively with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Any other information provided by any source(s) other than GECOM must not be considered as legitimate or valid by the citizenry. GECOM wishes to advise the public that only official elections results announced by GECOM are to be accepted. Any other claims to results would be spurious and unofficial,” GECOM noted.
GECOM said it will be conducting free, fair and transparent elections on May 11, and would like to appeal to all stakeholders to peacefully accept the final official results of the 2015 General and Regional Elections.
“GECOM is also calling on all individuals and/or groups purporting to conduct exit polls and announcing their ‘findings’, to desist from this potentially dangerous and reckless practice, since their utterings may serve to stir unrest and create further uneasiness in an environment which is already tense. Moreover, extant electoral laws and guidelines mandate only GECOM as the sole legal authority to announce official election results in Guyana. In addition, it must be recognized that while there may be no specific Laws making Exit Polling an offence, there are Laws relating to the molestation of voters entering and exiting Polling Stations. The secrecy of the Ballot must remain sacrosanct. In any case, the reliability of results emanating from an Exit Poll is dubious, unreliable and very possibility inaccurate,” the release noted.
GECOM is currently working unremittingly to ensure it delivers elections that are free, fair, credible and transparent. Every area of elections management is being competently and professionally managed by committed men and women, led by an experienced group of Commissioners.
“Therefore, all political parties and their supporters must be cognizant and supportive of GECOM’s efforts to submit results that are accurate, and not contribute to any act that will stymie and undermine this process,” GECOM underscored.