PPP mulls legal action against GECOM’s CEO over breach of Guyana’s Constitution

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The Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) is contemplating approaching the court to prevent GECOM from going ahead with house-to-house registration, an activity which is in contempt of the order of the CCJ and in defiance of the Constitution of Guyana.

PPP Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo

Comments to the media corps by People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo

Our protest action outside the head office of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) today, was to call for compliance with the Constitution of Guyana and the ruling of the CCJ.

APNU+AFC’s anemic protest, whenever it took place, was to ask GECOM to disrespect our
Constitution.

The “secret” June 11, 2019 Order signed by the illegally appointed GECOM Chairman, James Patterson, was overtaken by the order of the CCJ on July 12, 2019 and cannot be used as the basis on which house-to-house registration is pursued. The CCJ order stated that GECOM must comply with the Constitution – that is Elections in three months – and GECOM itself had advised the Court that embarking on house-to-house registration will delay Elections until after December 25, 2019.

Further, GECOM’s lawyer, this week, advised Mr. Lowenfield against pursuing house-to-house registration, pointing out that this will conflict with the CCJ’s order. One, then, has to question his motive to act in contempt of both the CCJ’s order and against the advice of his own Legal Officer.

Mr. Lowenfield has not even formally informed us, in the PPP, about the confirmed start of new house-to-house registration tomorrow (Saturday, July 20, 2019), despite the fact that the enumeration forms to be used in the process require the signatures of scrutineers from political parties.

We, in the PPP, are now contemplating approaching the Court to prevent this activity by Mr.
Lowenfield, which is in contempt of the order of the CCJ and in defiance of the Constitution of Guyana. If this wasn’t bad, what is worse is that the planned start of the exercise is done in a manner to exclude scrutiny. Without notice, parties were not given sufficient time to ready a list of over 2,000 scrutineers to ensure that the activity is done in a manner that is above board.

GECOM should immediately start preparations for updating the last valid List of Electors, through a period of Claims and Objections – something that Mr. Lowenfield, himself, , in February 2019, said could be done – to allow any Guyanese, who is not registered, to be registered, among other transactions.

GECOM should discontinue any attempt to do house-to-house registration and pay a lump sum, let’s say $100,000, to all the enumerators who have been trained for their efforts thus far.

GECOM should recall the over 8,000 persons who were trained for the November 2018 Local Government Elections, as well as others, and start the process of training and, where necessary, re-training, for General and Regional Elections.

There can be no acceptance of any action that represents blatant disregard and disrespect of our Constitution.