The Guyana Elections Commission(GECOM) has fired a Presiding Officer who was spotted campaigning with the Opposition Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) recently at Port Kaituma in the North West District.
Reports are that Sheldon Henry,who was expected to work on Elections Day at an area within the Matarkai sub-region called ‘Eyelash’, received notice from GECOM officials at Port Kaituma earlier today that his services were terminated.
Residents told the Guyana Chronicle that after a photograph surfaced on Saturday night with Henry campaigning with the PPP, they made it their duty to visit the GECOM office in the area to ensure the matter was being dealt with.
Several days ago, GECOM was forced to fire another Presiding Officer, Jenny shaw, from the Enmore area on the East Coast of Demerara after she was seen campaigning with the PPP.
Like all other staff members, the role of the Presiding Officer is crucial to the polling station. He/she is responsible for the efficient operation of the Polling Station to which he/she is assigned and ensuring that it functions in an orderly manner at all times.
The official task is to determine the six-digit number for the stamp (official mark) in the presence of Polling Day Staff and Polling Agents.
He/she also ensures that the persons other than voters, e.g. Certified Political Party Agents, attending the Polling Station are authorised to enter and are in possession of Identity Cards issued by GECOM.
One of the more import roles of the Presiding Officer is that he/she, when called upon, determines whether a person is eligible to vote.