At a press conference on Friday last, Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield told the media that he has not been given the go ahead from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to prepare the Secretariat for the holding of General and Regional Elections.
But those who sit on the Commission in representation of the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) are saying that this is not the case.
PPP/C Commissioners, Sase Gunraj and Robeson Benn hosted a press conference on Friday afternoon to respond to statements made by Lowenfield the morning.
There, Gunraj said that Lowenfield was given the go ahead to operationalize the GECOM machinery ever since a meeting that was held last Tuesday.
“The CEO was given the go ahead to prepare… (Preparation) includes request for financing from the Ministry of Finance. So to hear today that he said that he was not given the go ahead is a little perplexing to me.”
Further, Gunraj said that while the GECOM secretariat indeed requires a mandate from the Commission to go ahead with elections preparation, “there are some things that the Secretariat does that do not necessarily require instruction of the commission; that being said, there have been delays for all the reasons stated.”
Gunraj said that the green light was given by commissioners who represent both government and opposition.
Gunraj said that this was after he told the CEO that there is no prejudice to be suffered if GECOM prepares for elections but none is held in the short term.
“I pointed out that ink does not spoil and there is no harm in preparing…even if election is not held in the constitutionally mandated period, it has to be held at some point. Therefore, there is no harm in preparing. Against this backdrop, everyone agreed and the go ahead was given.”
PPP Commissioners are of the “terrifying” opinion that GECOM Secretariat, with Lowenfield at helm, is engaging in delaying tactics. Commissioner Benn said that this is part of a “broader strategy.”
He said that GECOM Secretariat is “creating opportunities for bigger problems down the road.”
Benn said that he is not sure whether GECOM is engaging in the delay tactic out of fear or if it is “simply deliberate, but I know they are delaying.”
Feb 26, 2020Narayan Ramdhani (The Kings University) and Priyanna Ramdhani (Olds College) were both selected to represent the Province of Alberta at CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) national...
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