The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has announced its state of readiness to ensure a fair and transparent Local Government Elections on Monday, positing that they are ‘ahead of the game’.
At a press conference on Friday at the Command Center on Fort Street, Georgetown GECOM Chairperson (retired) Justice Claudette Singh said the entity is not only fully prepared but confident that the elections will be conducted in accordance with electoral laws.
“I will surely guarantee that these elections will be conducted in a free, fair, transparent and credible manner,” Justice Singh told the media.
Chief Election Officer, Vishnu Persaud informed that from the position of the Secretariat, they are ahead of the listed activities under the work programme approved.
Coming out of the 2020 General and Regional Elections, concerns were raised since some staffers within the establishment were compromised. However, Persaud acknowledged that there is no reason to fear as the work of the Commission will not be undermined.
“I have established a direct working relationship with all of the managers, senior managers, mid managers, supervisors. We have been working together and I can assure you, we have a very cohesive team that is focused and committed to acting within the parameters of their responsibilities towards efficient, effective and satisfactory delivery of their functions,” the Chief Election Officer declared.
As of Friday, the secretariat was engaged with the packing of ballot boxes and placing them in containers that are to be distributed to the various districts. Full support has been given from party agents, the Commission has reported.
Due to small numbers of Statements of Poll (SOPs) in some Local Authority Areas (LAAs), it was assured that those results will not be a ‘tedious thing’ to be declared before midnight on Monday.
However Persaud cautioned, “This would be affected by agents objecting to the count of the returning officer. In this regard, I assure you that the agents themselves will be in possession of the Statements of Poll and the Returning Officer will be displaying his or her SoPs for the benefit of persons there to observe the count.”
Larger LAAs, such as Georgetown, will take longer. The law provides for up to five days for the declaration to be made.
“We will, with due our utmost care, ensure that the ascertainment of those results are done accurately and with the involvement of those persons who are authorized to be in the office of the Returning Officer, so that when the care or concerns will be satisfied with those declarations,” the senior GECOM official underlined.
Results for those areas non contesting can be released within the same night. GECOM has since accredited 10 local observer groups to oversee the electoral process.