PEOPLE’S Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)-nominated Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioner, Clement Rohee, has said that “GECOM is moving full speed ahead” for the June 12, 2023, Local Government Elections (LGEs).
“GECOM is moving full speed ahead in fulfilment of its constitutional mandate, and electors in their respective constituencies are now being sensitised by GECOM and stakeholders that it is imperative for them to go out to vote with their conscience as their guide,” Rohee said in a letter.
He also responded to A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Commissioner Vincent Alexander, who recently described the filling of the post of Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) position as “slothful.”
“He went on to complain that the commission’s schedule for the holding of Local Government Elections (LGEs) ‘has been affected by a number of snafus, missteps, and adventures’ (SM&As),” Rohee said.
He added that some of Alexander’s SM&As were the following asseverations: the ‘unlawful gazetting’ of boundaries of new and reconfigured constituencies; the Chair and CEO’s ‘illegal endorsement’ of that ‘illegality’; ‘the reclamation and execution to reverse’ its actions; ‘refusal to follow due process in the demarcation of boundaries;’ ‘failure to conduct the Claims and Objections process in the required manner’; and ‘wrong procedures in determining whether a person is ordinarily registered in a particular constituency or not entitled to vote in the particular constituency.’
“A careful examination of the implications of every one of Mr Alexander’s SM&As, were they to be realised, would show a single and deliberately obtuse objective, to abort the holding of LGEs and, in so doing, disrupt the general but more particularly, the local democratic process in Guyana.
“In responding to Commissioner Alexander’s missive that reeks with all the elements that would make Guyana stand still, one cannot help discerning his battle to overcome the moral hazards facing him,” he said.
He added that Alexander conveniently failed to mention the number of stumbling blocks that were placed along the way by his party to achieve their objective; these include extracting the Registers of Voters from the existing Official List of Electors, approaching the court to block the use of the Registers of Voters that were extracted from the existing Official List of Electors, and many others.
Notwithstanding the vacuous nature of the above matters raised by the opposition at GECOM, Rohee said the chairperson, under all circumstances, exercised admirable patience.
“… when it became obvious that the exchange of views on any one of Alexander’s contentious SM&As produced diminishing returns, the chair, with the hope of achieving a consensual decision, would instruct the CEO to investigate what Mr Alexander claimed to be either a snafu, a misadventure, or a misstep,” he said.
An excellent example of the APNU’s prevarications at GECOM, he said, can be found in its efforts to ransack the CEO’s work plan for the holding of LGEs, which suffered over 10 revisions before it was finally approved for implementation.
He added, “Consequently, following extensive, time-consuming research by the CEO, together with Secretariat staff at GECOM and at times, pointless and superfluous deliberations at the level of the commission, it was transparent enough for all to recognize that the APNU’s objective was to push back further the date for LGE, which the political opposition does not seem to want at this time. The APNU’s shenanigans at GECOM have all failed.”