We are getting closer to the long overdue General and Regional Elections on March 2nd, and the electorate is still understandably worried about GECOM’s seeming inability to act in a fair and impartial manner since the successful passing of the No Confidence Motion.
We are aware that GECOM is constitutionally obliged to act with impartiality and fairness in the execution of its duties (Article 162(1) [b]. The Constitution further states in Article 226 that GECOM shall not be subject to the direction and control of any other person or authority. Is that happening?
It is no assumption to say that despite these legal assurances given and guaranteed by the Constitution, GECOM has so far done nothing to build the public confidence in its ability to function as an independent body.
We have seen that despite the fact that the List of Electors can be refreshed using the Claims and Objections period, GECOM embarked on the House to House (HtH) Registration signed by a Chairman who was illegally appointed by President Granger. Was that act to do HtH registration legal?
Granger had justified the HtH registration by claiming that the List is bloated by 200,000 names and he wants credible elections and does not want to disenfranchise anyone. The list now has far more persons than before and now it is bloated, since it is filled with duplications and persons who have died.
Why did GECOM go ahead despite the fact that there has been continuous registration and the List could have been sanitized using the Claims and Objections?
On July 24th last year it was reported that the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) admitted that the Official List of Electors which expired on April 30th, 2019 could still be used to execute free and fair General and Regional Elections. But GECOM for some reason passed on that.
Justice (rtd.) Claudette Singh had vowed at her swearing-in ceremony that, ‘there is only one way, in accordance with the law and in accordance with the constitution, and nothing else’ and everyone had thought then that here comes the ‘iron lady’ whose entry at GECOM would end the drama.
However, it would seem that Justice Singh’s appointment made no difference.
There are instances other than the HtH registration, such as CEO Keith Lowenfield’s effort to work overtime to do as much HtH registration as possible after the Chief Justice had aborted it; the ID cards saga and trying to disenfranchise voters; the fiddling with the Claims and Objections period; the effort to merge the lists; the numerous ‘errors’ and duplications on the final Official List; the illegal transfer of voters to other polling places; and now the reduction in the use of private residences as polling places in a deliberate effort to create confusion and disenfranchising numerous voters, mostly in rural perceived PPP/C support bases.
This last effort has been condemned by the Private Sector Commission and they have now concluded as well that the CEO appears to have acted unilaterally and on his own by changing the polling places without informing the political parties. Moreover, it would seem that only the leader of the PPP/C is fighting this battle against the illegality being perpetrated by GECOM. Where are the other parties who want to run this country? We have seen numerous illegal acts committed by the APNU/AFC which have fallen on deaf ears in GECOM, such as misuse of State resources for Elections campaign purposes and others, and yet the deafening silence of the smaller parties.
It is time that the GECOM’s Chairperson step up and deliver on her ‘pledge’ to ensure credible elections. In this current state we can only guess what will happen on March 2nd and after the results have been declared. I do hope the international observers can act NOW rather than later!
Apr 05, 2020This year-one review is based on the 10 Point ‘Cricket First Plan’ that was the foundation of the Ricky Skerritt-Dr Kishore Shallow 2019 election campaign. In March 2019, he was elected as the...
Apr 05, 2020
Apr 05, 2020
Apr 04, 2020
Apr 04, 2020
Apr 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]