Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo’s Office has noted with concern that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has remained silent in the face of the imbroglio which has engulfed six local authority organs that have been unable to lawfully elect their Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Chairpersons and Deputies because of an equality of seats on those organs allocated to the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC).
In a press statement, Jagdeo’s Office explained that it is public knowledge that his Party launched legal proceedings and obtained a series of orders from the High Court quashing decisions of Communities Minister Ronald Bulkan who in violation of the law, purported to select the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mabaruma as well as the Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the several Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) affected.
“It is obvious that were GECOM to assume its responsibilities, it will present some reprieve to this impasse. We call upon GECOM to snap out of this paralysis and begin to discharge its mandate now,” the statement added.
The Opposition Leader’s Office further explained that orders were also obtained restraining the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and the Chairpersons and Deputy Chairpersons from functioning in those capacities and that orders were obtained mandating the Town Clerk of Mabaruma and the several overseers of the NDCs to appoint a date for new elections in the several local authority areas affected as the law prescribes.
Jagdeo said these legal proceedings were filed not only to protect and defend the will of the electorate, but was also done to protect and preserve the Constitutional mandate of GECOM which is the authority that the Constitution has endowed with the exclusive responsibility in respect of and in relation to the conduct of elections.
The statement said against this backdrop, GECOM’s silence and inaction amount to a gross abdication of its constitutional responsibilities.