OPINION: Crucial issues that must be addressed at GECOM

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The following is an opinion piece by Mr Neil Kumar

The new Government headed by President, Dr. Irfaan Ali and his PPPC team have begun work in earnest to address the numerous ills and maladministration exercised under the previous APNU/AFC regime. As a priority, several moves have been made in the right direction to set the economy back on track and aggressively pursue the threats and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conducted cursory status analysis of key Government Ministries and institutions has been very revealing in providing strong indicators of massive fraud, together with confirmation of widespread legislative breaches. There is no doubt that these instances will have to be condignly dealt with, particularly to prevent such future outlandish ransom positions in which key actors in the Granger- led cabal held our nation.

Clearly, these outright seditious activities have caused Guyana to be looked at in a particular sense of demonic darkness, and cannot be treated with the kind of “slap on the caught wrist” that perpetrators are now hoping for. NEVER again must the people of our dear country be exposed in this way, and be made to suffer in lieu of such sycophantic gangsterism.

Notwithstanding, almost every citizen, and our international partners who vigorously defended our democracy, will be looking on with anxiety and anticipation of the strongest deterring measures in addressing the real hornets’ nest at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). It is very evident that no international body or institution would support GECOM in its current formula, which has realized the most diabolic and damning breach of trust in the organisation.

Editor, the leanest of scrutiny is demanded through a possible Commission of Inquiry or investigative finalisation prior to addressing the necessary and mandatory reforms. Permit me, therefore, to recommend some of the pivotal areas of consideration that must be focused on. These are as follow:

  1. The intellectual authors and all conduits involved in the execution of the diabolic plan to rig the results must be identified.
  2. Note the move to remove senior staff prior to the Election
  3. The selection of returning officers and polling day staff.
  4. The role played by Mr. Mingo and selected staff assisting him at the Ashmin’s Building.
  5. The origin of the instruction given by Mr. Mingo Clerk, Ms. Carolyn Duncan, to place certain election material into special bags.
  6. The reasons for the removal of election materials, and poor storage of the bags at another location.
  7. The role of GECOM security personnel at Ashmin’s Building, which was glaringly not on track with the requirements.
  8. The team member who prepared the wicked fictitious spread sheet.
  9. The role of the team involved in pre-elections and post-election activities CEO, DCEO, chief account, internal auditor
  10. The functioning of all Registration Offices and Sub-Offices where: –
  11. Some are overstaffed and underutilised
  12. Retirees over the age of 70 are re-employed
  13. Questionable characters who have known biases are employed as Registration Officers e.g. In Region 3, the Returning Officer is a person with known ethnic biases coupled to a significant level of incompetence; a situation that is repeated in Region 6.
  14. At Parika, the Assistant Returning Officer was drafted in without passing through the ratified system.
  15. The reason(s) why fraudulent Mr. Clairmont Mingo is still the RO in one of the Registration Offices in Region Five (5)
  16. The reason(s) why the alleged frauds at GECOM prior to 2020 are still to be investigated, while reported missing items from GECOM are still to be located and accounted for.
  17. The misuse of vehicles as a major concern given the known fact that allocation of vehicles to officers who were reported as aiding in corrupt practices in previous elections.
  18. The necessity for a review of rental of buildings and services.
  19. It is of note that GECOM was not audited in 2015, although it had been allocated over G$20 billion for the conduct of its activities through the National Assembly

While the foregoing is by no means expansive, the necessity for a total forensic audit should not be overlooked, as GECOM, under the hands of Mr. Keith Lowenfield, has descended to its lowest ebb. There is definitely the need for an improved mechanism, and the nation is encouraged by the words of our President, who has committed to conducting the necessary review and repair. We note the continued efforts of frustration by the likes of Mr. Harmon to hold the Government to ransom, even in the face of all the damages that were imposed by his untrustworthy regime.

This column is indeed appreciative of the works being advanced by President Dr. Irfaan Ali and the PPPC team, who are off to a very bright start. In this regard, we encourage all citizens to let us all work together in rebuilding a prosperous and healthy nation.