GECOM swears in 10 new Returning Officers

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By Tracey Khan – Drakes

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) swore in 10 newly appointed Returning Officers (RO) who will be responsible for the conduct of general and regional elections on May 11 in districts throughout the country.

The officers, who were drawn one each from the 10 administrative regions, were trained by GECOM. It was highlighted that while some of the RO’s are new, there are a few that have served the Commission proudly for a number of years in various capacities.

The officers took the oath of office and swore to perform their duties to the best of their abilities on Tuesday, February 24. According to GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfeild, “they will be the ones who will be carrying out the mandate of the Commission; that is the efficient conduct of general and regional elections of 2015. This task is simple but significant and seeks to bring them legally with that responsibility as Returning Officers in those particular districts.”

He added that the officers have come onboard at a time when a transition is taking place.

“They are bringing their list in order, we started with the Preliminary list, at the end of the hearings of objections we will be adding new electors and will be deleting from the Preliminary list those electors who would have been objected to and the objections are upheld. So there is a transition between our registration officers in the field as it relates to locations of polling stations…so that when we meet again with the returning officers, they have total knowledge of their districts as it relates to the locations of their polling stations.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of GECOM Dr. Steve Surujbally shared his expectations with the officers, noting that he is hopeful that they will reflect their desire “to create history in 2015 elections, a history of having an impeccable election, you are the best that we have chosen of those that were available and those that took the training…I expect that you carry out that oath that you have taken to such a degree that no one can fault us later on in the game.”

He expressed full confidence in the new officers even though their abilities for the post continue to be questioned by some political leaders.

They officers are, Lorna Marks, Carlos Melville, Dwayne Marco, Glendon Fredericks, Alfa Mohamed, Clairmont Mingo, Melanie Marshall, Kushaldeo Bipath, Rabinnauh Boodram and Murphy DeSouza.