GPSCCU elections flawed, should be nullified – members

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Calling the recent Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU) elections flawed and stacked in the favour of the Interim Management Committee (IMC), concerned members on Monday demanded that the polls be nullified.

On April 11, Former Head of the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC), Trevor Benn, who has since been charged for misconduct in public office, and his team members won every spot on the 12-member Committee of Management. But events surrounding the election of these persons have since caused a division in the union.

At a press conference, members alleged that several discrepancies occurred on the actual polling day, when the Annual General Meeting was also scheduled. Ivelaw Henry, a candidate for the elections, noted that from the onset, there was no list of persons eligible to vote virtually.

“There was neither a posted list of persons registered to vote virtually nor was there any means of knowing or reconciling those who voted or those who did not vote. Before the votes, there were voice notes circulating, telling persons to vote for a preferred set of candidates while for the entire period of the AGM, including voting process, a vehicle with loudspeaker was stationed in close proximity to the GPSCCU head office, announcing the name of the preferred candidates and their number on the ballot paper,” Henry outlined.

According to him, persons were advised to vote for the first 12 candidates on the Committee of Management ballot paper and the first three candidates listed on the Supervisory Committee ballot paper.

Henry highlighted that the tabulation of votes also pressed additional concerns, whereby the scoring was not visible. The counting of some 800 virtual votes was also questioned. For this, it was determined that IMC used its incumbency status to “abuse the system”.

“It was said that over 800 members registered to vote online. One is yet to confirm how the votes were counted and in the absence of guarantee, one has to deem those votes totally flawed. There was nobody evidencing to say these things were done.”

He added, “The votes were scored against numbers and not the names of the candidates. There was no means of determining the credibility of the scoring since the persons conducting that exercise were very distant from the scrutineers of candidates and there was no way to inspect or verify the accuracy of the allocation…Also, the official scoring was not visible.”

They have since contended that these events were in contradiction with the rules of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union Limited, in conflict with the laws of the Guyana Cooperative Society Act Chapter 88:0, as well as a total deviation from customs and practices that were established.