17 01 20

first_imgDear Editor,We have witnessed the recent chaos on Nomination Day, with its the many justified ensuing Court battles, which the circumstances signal are likely to continue at the highest judicial decision making authority. The continued disappearances of the Chief Executive Officer at key events and activities during the preparation for the Disciplined Services balloting, clearly points to the realities of the trial and error approach, and much heightened incompetence.On Monday October 29th, 2018, the Secretariat’s CEO, Mr. Lowenfield, held a briefing with the Political Parties in preparation for the Disciplined Services voting, scheduled to take place on Friday November 2, 2018. Only heaven knows, why, even up to that point, he could not provide a schedule of events with clear timelines regarding where and how some key elements would take place. He promised that he would subsequently deliver further details, which speaks of lack of coordination at the highest echelon of GECOM.Approximately eight thousands persons are listed as registered to vote on Friday, but at the time of the briefing, parties were yet to confirm their final voting numbers. This information is particularly relevant, given GECOM’s report that a great percentage of the voters would be allowed to vote without ID cards, based on the internal Folio positions.Lowenfield announced that there are 1674 polling stations countrywide and the Chief Election Officer also said that GECOM successfully trained some 10, 700 polling staff whom he expects to run the Local Government Elections. There is still the need, however, for the assurance of the nation, regarding the evaluation mechanism employed to ensure the readiness of the persons the Secretariat claims to be sufficiently trained. This is particularly relevant since many of the Returning Officers under whose authority these persons will be functioning, have proved to be deficient in their preparation.This is a serious matter, because it is open knowledge that the Commission is constitutionally tasked with the responsibility of hiring all GECOM staff, and there has been the usurping of many elections functions under the current system.The public is and will be questioning this process further, as we understand that there are many ‘phantom staff members’, who have been allowed to infiltrate the system for clandestine reasons.It is clear that like Nominations Day approximately ninety percent of the staff selected to work on D-Day, will be retained and employed by GECOM for future elections work. The path followed by GECOM is resulting in a retrogression to the dark days when the PNC had all of the Election staff fully under their control. This, no doubt, is a recipe for countrywide resistance towards the necessary remedy of an acceptable balance.We advocate for the transparency of employment practices at GECOM and the use of electronic methodology as an approach to strengthening the validation of results of elections in Guyana. Bring in the United Nations Now!Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img

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