By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Leader of the main opposition party – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – David Granger said it was most comforting and assuring on learning of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) statement which noted that the Commission is ready to hold elections within 180 days of receiving the executive order from the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C).
In this regard Granger has in turn called on the administration to make public a date for the holding of Local Government Elections in keeping with legislation passed in the National Assembly which stipulates that these elections should be held on or before August 1, 2014.
“If the administration is really serious about election let them give the executive order,” Granger said at a press conference on Friday, March 14.
Meanwhile, APNU Executive Member Joseph Harmon recalled statements by PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee and Local Government Minister Norman Whitaker which stated that the elections could not be held by that time as they professed the unpreparedness of the Commission, tasked with the responsibility of executing the elections.
Harmon recalled that the legislation was passed almost a month ago and there has not been any announcement since by the Local Government Minister of a date but maintains that it must be held on or before August 1.
The Opposition, Private Sector and several Heads of Missions here in Guyana along with a large section of the general populace have been urging for the holding of Local Government elections which was last held in 1994.
On a separate note, the Opposition Leader said the recent appointment of Keith Lowenfield as the substantive Chief Elections Officer (CEO) and Commissioner of National Registration is a step in the right direction.
He expressed his confidence in Lowenfield, adding that the problems which occurred with the former CEO Gocool Boodhoo will not recur.
“He brings to the table 14 years of experience and an unblemished record in GECOM and I’m confident that he will do a better job than the previous man and there will be no election controversy or mathematical errors.”
Lowenfield was selected unanimously out of four candidates who were shortlisted for the post by the six Commissioners and Chairman.
It was important that a substantive CEO be in place at the country gets ready to hold Local Government Elections for the first time in 20 years under revised legislation.