The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, retired Justice, James Patterson, in a letter to President David Granger today, has indicated that the Commission will be ready to host regional and general elections by late November.
The Chairman’s letter came one week after President Granger wrote to him seeking clear guidance on an election time table and the financial needs of the Elections Commission.
In the letter that was sent to the President today, the GECOM Chairman explained that the November timeline is based on the advice provided to him by the Chief Elections Officer and also based on the Commission meeting several other requirements and preparations for the elections.
GECOM is also hoping that there is an increase in the allocation of financial resources that would allow for a fast track house to house registration process, which would be in keeping with the Commission’s work plan for 2019.
The Opposition nominated members of the Guyana Elections Commission at a hastily called press conference late this afternoon said they were caught by surprise by the letter of the GECOM Chairman to the President.
They questioned whether it was really the Chairman who penned the letter, but said it is worrying that the letter was compiled and dispatched to the Head of State without any prior discussion with the full Commission and without any input.
The Commissioners said they turned up at today’s statutory meeting to see the letter. They are convinced that the Chairman is now acting on his own.
The Commissioners walked out of another GECOM meeting today, claiming that the Commission was making decisions without them and had not consulted with them properly. This was the fourth meeting that the opposition nominated Commissioners walked out on, in as many weeks.
Questioned on a way forward to address their concerns, Commissioner Sase Gunraj said they would not want to ruin the element of surprise.