By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has once again challenged the readiness of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), to successfully hold Local Government Elections (LGE) this year.
After an absence of Local Government Elections for the last 20 years and despite GECOM echoing its willingness to hold either local or general elections, the PPP/C says it is not satisfied with the keenness of work done so far.
Speaking to the local media on Wednesday (July 9), General Secretary of the ruling Party, Clement Rohee said he does not believe enough ground work has been done.
He did acknowledge the pressure from the diplomatic community, political opposition and sections of society to hold LGE as soon as possible.
“GECOM can say anything, but the political parties must say what they want too, until there is a level of comfort for the PPP to embrace we will maintain our position… we who operate at the political level knows that there is too much at stake,” Rohee said.
His contention is that there are incomplete voters’ lists and a large number of Guyanese have not been suitably registered. Rohee said he is not confident that enough has been done to ensure all eligible voters are on the lists and recommended that GECOM embarks on a physical verification exercise, where they will invite Party representatives to overlook the process.
“We are not going to call elections because it’s the flavor of the day or we want to be a part of a choir, this is a serious matter, it is not about confrontation with GECOM either, the PPP jealously guards its right to speak out against GECOM ill preparedness,” the GS added.
He said the Opposition’s call for elections by August 1 is impossible now but refused to comment on the standing law and its implications which states that LGE should be held on or before December 31, 2014.
For the last 20 years the National Assembly had voted to postpone LGE; this year tensions flared in the House when the Opposition refused to postpone the elections and demanded that it be held by August 1. President Donald Ramotar is yet to give his assent to that Bill.
Recently the administration and members of the diplomatic community were at loggerheads for criticizing the administration for failing to give the order to hold LGE.
When asked about this pressure, Rohee said, “Let them talk if they want to talk, it doesn’t bother me,” adding that “GECOM needs to get its act together if it wants to seriously talk about elections.”
He said the administration will support LGE when all measures are in place but could not say what time is best realistic for this reality.