FORMER head of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GLSC), Trevor Benn, is most likely to be elected Chairman of the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union (GPSCCU), after his team members won all the spots on the 12-member Committee of Management (CM) when the official results were declared on Monday.
This now paves the way for Benn to continue the work he started as Chairman of the GPSCCU Interim Management Committee (IMC), and dashed the hopes of returning to power for the team lead by the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) President, Patrick Yarde. Yarde’s team members did not win any spots, according to the elections results.
However, with accusations of voting irregularities, questions surrounding the count in Region Four, a recount and delayed declarations of the official results, the unfolding of the elections over the past two days was reminiscent of Guyana’s 2020 general elections.
Notwithstanding voting having closed since 16:30hrs on Sunday, and just over 1,000 of the credit union members having voted, it was not until late Monday evening that the official results and declarations for the elections were finally made available.
Though the results for nine of the regions were declared since Sunday afternoon, the official declaration was stalled pending the results from Region Four, where the request for a recount by the Chief Coop Development Officer, Suresh Jaigobin, was ordered. Approximately 300 ballots are said to have been cast in Region Four.
The recount began by midday on Monday.
Benn garnered a total of 1055 votes. Aside from Benn, rounding out the top 12 are Patrick Mentore (905), Arthur Gibbs (867), Jermain Hermanstyne (866), Leslyn Noble (854), Rajdai Jaganauth (846), Gillian Pollard (845), Kirwyn Mars (844), Ruth Howard (832), Saskia Eastman-Onwuzirike (813), former Tourism Ministry Permanent Secretary, Karen Vansluytman-Corbin (778), and former Chief Labour Officer, Charles Ogle (749).
Yarde’s team had included former GPSCCU Chairperson Patricia Went, GPSU Vice-President Dawn Gardener, former Public Service Permanent Secretary, Reginald Brotherson, Karen France, Dr. Victor Allen, Jennifier Melville Nelson, Althea Tucker Bristol, City Councillor Ivelaw Henry, Moses Rampal, Leon Parks and Trevor Daly.
Aside from electing the members of the Committee of Management, electors also voted for the three persons who would constitute the Supervisory Committee. The spots were won by Glendon Fogenay, Dvane St John and Coretta Braithwaite-Walton, all members of Benn’s team.
For the Supervisory Committee, the Yarde team’s nominees were GPSU General-Secretary, Kempton Alexander, former member of the GPSCCU Committee of Management, Thomas Nestor and Mortimer Livan.
A motion moved at the credit Union’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) has called for the Management Committee to be increased to constitute 15 members and the Supervisory Committee number being increased to five. However, this must be ratified by the Chief Coop Development Officer (CCDO) before it can go into effect.
The first election to be held by the credit union in eight years, the elections saw a low turnout as less than five per cent of the credit union’s 23,000 members participated in the voting process.
This year’s elections saw a heated contest between the two teams, with the GPSU side making claims of voter disenfranchisement, and voter irregularities on the elections day. Prior to elections day, the GPSU side had also called for the removal of Benn as Chairman of the IMC, and had filed a court order on Thursday.
However, the order was not for the removal of Benn, GPSU VP Gardener had confirmed in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Monday. She could not say what the court order was for but noted that it has already concluded. She is unsure what the results were either.
She said she was not accepting the results of the elections because it was not fair and credible.