LETTER: Political audit of GECOM needed before engaging in any other major electoral activity

0

Dear Editor,

The three-member Caricom team that witnessed the complete recount of the March 2 2020 General Elections recommended among other things that “a political audit of GECOM (its successes and failures and the factors contributing to this), both the Commission and its Administrative arm, is urgently warranted. It, therefore, behooves whichever political party emerges victorious from these elections initiate an immediate political audit, in a real sense, GECOM betrayed its obligations to behave impartially and independently.”

GECOM is the constituted permanent operational institution to conduct our periodic General and Local Elections hence constant evaluation and assessment of its performance after every election is of paramount interest in order to build public confidence and trust in all the various stakeholders.

The time is very opportune for the Government to initiate this political audit since all of the international donor community have directly or tangentially indicated their willingness and support for such an audit. We should capitalise on this assistance to assemble an independent international audit team that would have the confidence of all the concerned parties and citizen.

The next General Election that is scheduled for 2025 will be on us in no time hence the sooner we start the ball rolling, the better shall we be prepared to conduct an election that would be transparent, fair and credible.

The scope of the political audit should seek to determine if the present configuration of the Commission is conducive to impartiality and engendering public trust, examine the conduct/misconduct of the administrative arm (secretariat) in the elections, review of the standard operating procedures and if breaches of same were systemic or intentional, commitment of acts of conspiracy to render unfair advantage to any particular political party and the effectiveness of the organisational structure of GECOM to provide credible elections.

Based on the findings and recommendations of the political audit, the internal inquiries and changes can then be instituted and we can get on with the business of a complete House-to-House voter Registration. I cannot envisage the preparation for the 2025 elections under the supervision of the present GECOM administrative arm. Can you?

With regards,

Reggie Bhagwandin