This latest statement from the Government signals that they are prepared to undermine the work of legally constituted independent bodies, compromise the electoral process, so that the checklist necessary for the execution of the upcoming general elections is not met or under-achieved, and as a last resort to compromise electoral results if it has to, in order to remain in power.
In addition to remaining in power, if electoral preparations are unmet, this is an opportunity that could result in a prolonged Presidency for Bharrat Jagdeo and using the excuse that electoral preparations have not been appropriately achieved.
To do this, they need to disrupt the work of GECOM and since GECOM is almost totally dependent on the government for financial resources to execute its mandate, as the saying goes “he/she who pays the piper calls the tunes.”
As citizens we must demand better not only from Government but also from GECOM. Dr. Steve Surujbally must not only signal his disapproval of this letter to government, but must also notify the OAS, the UN, CARICOM, the Commonwealth Secretariat and other relevant organisations if he is serious about safeguarding the integrity of GECOM and its ability to work in the best interest of the electorate.
I also urge the combined opposition, the People’s Partnership, the Multi-racial Patriotic Movement and other civil society networks and organisations to also pen letters to the above mentioned entities.
It’s time for us in Guyana to raise our standards of conduct, think and execute our responsibilities in a more strategic manner and act as though we have a stake in the future of this country. This beautiful land does not belong to the Government; they are merely our representatives and a poor lot of this they are.
Finally I offer a few brief contextual insights that attempt to illuminate the thinking behind this recently adopted position by Government.
This latest attack only the independence of GECOM and the rights of citizens to be reliably informed must be put into political context. Dr. Luncheon stated that, “with the exception of those associated with discharging GECOM’s constitutional and legal responsibilities (Orders, Notices, Acts and Amendments)” advertisements must be submitted to the Government Information Agency for placement on www.eprocure.gov.gy. (SN October 15, 2010 and Kaieteur News October 17, 2010).
Clearly this is an attempt to show not only GECOM but the public who is in control. Additionally I am aware that Government is fast realising that it faces some tough challenges in preparation for the upcoming general elections.
For one it’s record dealing with crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, youth development and empowerment, child protection, sustainable employment generation, wages and salaries, old age pensions and the list goes on is terribly pathetic.
Members of the government also know that the public are tired of empty promises, that we are choosing to voice and express our concerns through institutional mechanisms and social movements (for example the People’s Partnership, the Multi-racial Patriotic Front, Trades Unions, etc.) opposed to violent protests.
Finally Government is also aware that many persons that voted for them in the last two elections have signaled their intention to vote for another representative of the people.
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