“Inciting and injecting fear” will not be forgiven – GECOM’s Chairman

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By Jomo Paul

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr Steve Surujbally

[www.inewsguyana.com] – Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr Steve Surujbally says it is important for some major updates to be made to the elections code of conduct for political parties.

Surujbally, speaking during an interview with iNews on Thursday, said that his team at GECOM will do everything within its ambit to ensure that political parties abide by the tenets within the code of conduct in the executing their campaign elections.

Referring to the incitement and injection of fear into the electorate, Dr Surujbally made it clear that while such a code of conduct is not present in existing documents, all efforts must be made to ensure that it is placed there and adhered to.

He mentioned too that Guyana has a history of elections that “were inimical to the interest of our country” and he is hoping that these things remain the same.

“We had this in the past and it took it decades to recover,” noted Dr Surujbally.

He said “we cannot do this if there is bloodletting, if there is vexation to the point where it boils over…I for one will not ever forgive anyone who goes into direction.”
He pointed out that Guyana’s last two general elections which were under his tenure as GECOM Chairman, went turbulence free and “I am hoping that we continue in that direction, so that any concerns that I would have would be assuaged.”

Only recently concerns were raised about the absence of the Ethnic Relations Commission which would be essential to the elections process in Guyana.

In July 2014, Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon had promised that the members of the Commission would be sworn in by President Donald Ramotar. However to date, this has not been done.

Meanwhile, Surujbally related that the GECOM may be able to deliver results from the election as early as the afternoon of May 12.

He said that “the Chief Elections Officer is hinting to me that we are going to surprise the nation by giving them the results the next day.”

He noted however that political parties have until twelve noon on May 12 to ask for a recount.

“Now if that’s going on, that will keep back the announcement clearly.”

 

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