Former Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Vishnu Persaud is disputing the capability of the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM) to hold Regional and General Elections by this November, following the exercise of House to House Registration (HtHR).
Persaud expressed his views on the matter, following an announcement by Chairman of the GECOM (ret’d) Justice James Patterson.
In a letter to the Editor, the Former DCEO noted that based on his knowledge and experience in the conduct of registration and election projects, it is impossible for GECOM to hold General and Regional Elections by November 2019 following a House-to-House Registration exercise.
To further corroborate his views, Persaud outlined the timeline of crucial tasks essential to holding elections.
Alluding to the tasks, which range from the short-listing of applicants/training of enumerators to Nomination’s Day, Persaud noted that (HtHR) is likely to last for at least 68 weeks. The former GECOM Official said that given the delineated tasks, by his estimation, it will not be possible to have General and Regional Elections until June 2020 at the earliest if HtHR were to be conducted.”
“In view of the foregoing, it must be crystal clear to all concerned that General and Regional Elections cannot be held this year, (much less in November of this year), as the sequel to a HtHR…”
He said further that his communiqué outlined the key tasks only.
“It is not all inclusive. For example, the conduct of fingerprint cross-matching could be delayed as a result of the vendor providing this service insisting on full advance payment necessitating the acquisition of quotations, going through the legislative procurement procedures, signing of contract etc.”
“I specifically did not include the production and distribution of National Identification Cards towards ensuring that all persons who are registered (during HtHR should it be done) and who would be eligible to vote receive their cards before Election Day as this would not fall in the critical path of the comprehensive plan for the registration-elections projects.”
“I am certain that, should GECOM disclose its comprehensive work plan for the conduct of elections, starting from registration, the timelines will be more expansive than that which [I have outlined],” Persaud added.
In an invited comment, former Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr. Steve Surujbally said, in his view, the timeline for house-to-house registration can be flexible.
He said that the timeline of the activities can be crunched, but it all depends on the capacity of the staff.
Surujbally said too that given his experience of Elections matters, the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield is highly capable of managing elections under the circumstances, which follows a No-Confidence motion.
He said, however, that it is important to note that essentially, it is the Commission (Chairman and Commissioners) that must agree on crucial matters related to the holding of elections.
After several weeks of delay, GECOM’s Chairman announced that he had written President David Granger telling him that elections cannot be held before late November.
Patterson said that according to the GECOM Secretariat, the earliest that elections could have been held, catering for the house-to-house registration, is this year-end, provided that enough resources are released.
“In consideration of all of the above, the fulfillment of the various conditions highlighted, the removal of the external impediments, and based on the advice that I have been given by the Chief Elections Officer, I would proffer that the Commission would be in a position to conduct General and Regional Elections no earlier than late November 2019 with an Official List of Electors having a qualifying date of October 31, 2019.”
Jun 04, 2020Archery Guyana proudly fielded two archers for the 60X ISOL Remote Shoot Competition held on 31st May, 2020. This was the ninth stage of this novel Virtual Competition where approximately 100 archers...
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 04, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Jun 03, 2020
Editor’s Note, If your sent letter was not published and you felt its contents were valid and devoid of libel or personal attacks, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]