By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – A high level team from the main opposition – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – led by Opposition Leader David Granger this afternoon [Thursday December 11], met with officials of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at their Kingston, Georgetown Office.
Updating the media soon after the almost two hours meeting, APNU’s Chairman Dr. Rupert Roopnarine said GECOM’s processes to be employed during elections were examined, including its readiness to hold regional and general elections.
He said satisfying answers were provided by the GECOM team which included all the Commissioners and the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield along with his Deputy.
He said the assurances given by GECOM were encouraging while noting that the Party still has concerns among which is the failure of the elections body to garner the full complement of people needed for polling day duties so that they can be trained.
The APNU team also included, Shadow Education Minister Amna Ally, Deputy Speaker Basil Williams, APNU General Secretary Joseph Harmon and Elections Campaign Manager/ Shadow Home Affairs Minister Winston Felix.
Ally said GECOM has promised hiccup free elections.
“We were looking at things like polling agents, appointment of persons, and use of things like certificate of employment because on the last occasion I think we were shafted with the use of certificate of employment and so we let them know that was one of our major issues,” Ally said.
This meeting comes days after President Donald Ramotar announced that he will name a date for early general election in 2015 and while GECOM is rolling out is seventh Cycle of Registration.
Ally said it is definite that the current cycle will be truncated.
“We have taken this step to ensure we are satisfied with arrangements by GECOM because we are not going to be ambushed by any statement made by President Donald Ramotar… we have taken our preparations to another level and this is why we have engaged GECOM. We do not want to rely on statements of GECOM’s readiness,” Harmon explained.
The Opposition Leader who had to rush off to another meeting could not speak with the media.
However, Felix rejected the weekly criticism leveled against GECOM by the ruling People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
“No doubt there will be attempts to steer them but I know persons there are strong enough to understand their professional role.”
Felix said the Elections Body seems fairly firm and resolute in its resolve to hold elections in a fair and transparent manner.