GECOM forced to print some election material locally after procurement error; Secretariat declares readiness for Monday’s LGE

GECOM forced to print some election material locally after procurement error; Secretariat declares readiness for Monday’s LGE

The Guyana Elections Commission today admitted that an error in the procurement order for elections materials for at least two Local Authority Areas, resulted in a shortage of material and forced the electoral body to produce the needed documents locally.

The Chairman of the Elections Commission, retired Justice Claudette Singh said despite that issue, GECOM is set and ready for the hosting of local elections on Monday.

“I am pleased to assure you that GECOM is not only fully prepared but is also confident, that these elections, will be implemented in accordance with the electoral laws. As Chairperson, I would surely guarantee that these elections, will be conducted in a free, fair, transparent, and credible manner,” the GEOM Chairman told reporters at a press conference today.

Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Vishnu Persaud said the GECOM Secretariat is “ahead of the game” with regards to the implementation of the work plan for the Local Elections.

He also confirmed that the procurement issue, but indicated that the matter has been resolved.

“A schedule of materials to be procured was prepared in accordance with the number of polling stations across Local Authority Areas. This, activity, the numbers were influenced from feed back from the Returning Officers through our Logistics Department right up to the Secretariat, where the determinations were made. So, yes, we followed that based on the information we had when we ordered the materials. As it turned out, there was an error pertaining to the number of polling stations in two Local Authority Areas,” Persaud explained.

Persaud explained that though the number of ballots printed for the Local Authority Areas was correct, there was an insufficient number of Statements of Poll (SOPs) and tally sheets for at least two polling stations in those areas.

He said the issue was brought to the attention of the Commission, and approval was granted for the documents to be printed by the Elections Secretariat.

“Because there not being enough time to get this very little bit of election materials printed by the supplier overseas, we sought and received the approval of the Commission to have them produced locally. We have so done, and I can assure you that there is no shortage, that has been addressed,” Persaud said.

Further, the CEO confirmed that though the Elections Secretariat published the Lists of Voters and their corresponding Polling Stations more than two weeks ago, there were a few changes made in recent days.

“At least two polling stations, we changed because of political objections to the place at which those polling stations would have been. However, the changes were from one building to another building, right next door or very close by,” Persaud as he cited one example.

Persaud assured that all of the ballots, SOPs and other election materials have been packed and are ready to be transported to the various Local Authority Areas across the country. There are 80 LAAs in the country, however, there will be no contest in 13 of them.

Polling stations will open their doors from 6am and close at 6pm. (Svetlana Marshall)

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