Mar 13, 2019 News
A vote in favour of a motion can land the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and three coalition commissioners in jail for one year.
This could be the case if attorney-at-law Sanjeev Datadin wins a case that was filed yesterday.
Datadin filed the charges with the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on behalf of Civil Engineer and businessman Marcel Gaskin.
The respondents are the three commissioners Charles Corbin, Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman and the Chairman, Retired Justice James Patterson.
The particulars of the offence state that the chairman and the commissioners conspired to breach Article 106 of the Constitution which provides for the holding of elections in 90 days after the passage of a no-confidence motion.
On February19, the Commission voted on three motions in the name of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Commissioner, Charles Corbin.
The first motion considered was one calling for President David Granger to be informed that GECOM cannot be ready for elections within the 90 days that the constitution prescribes in the event that a motion of no-confidence is passed against the government.
Second, the Commission considered a motion that resolved to let it be registered that GECOM is not financially able to hold elections in the short term.
Third, the Commission considered a motion that gave direction to the GECOM Secretariat for it to continue with its work programme for 2019, as it was before the passage of the no-confidence motion. The third motion would see GECOM preparing for house-to house registration as was called for by APNU and the Alliance for Change (AFC). In this period, until a contradictory decision is made, GECOM will not act in accordance with any work programme that responds to a call for elections in the short term.
APNU commissioners voted in favour of the motions and so did Patterson.
This newspaper spoke to Datadin last evening.
He said, “The passing of a no confidence motion by the National Assembly on the 21st December 2018 meant that General Elections had to be held in 3 months. The government had fallen. The obligation to get Guyana ready for an election is GECOM. It is a full time body charged with functions under the constitution. Instead, its leadership gave excuses and explanations what this could not be done.”
He continued, “Confusion is abound as to who should give the instructions and what was required for the preparations for elections. The three commissioners and the chairman voted on 19th February to continue with business as usual in violation of the constitution and in violation of its constitutional mandate. The charges are to hold those who seek to break the law and breach the constitution accountable.”
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