GECOM Commissioner fires off at Boodoo

GECOM Commissioner fires off at Boodoo

Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission Vincent Alexander has “broken” his silence on the issue surrounding the contract for former Chief Elections Officer Gocool Boodoo.

Boodoo’s contract expired in April and his move to the court to block the appointment of a new Chief Elections Officer has been thrown out.

Now, Commissioner Vincent Alexander has fired off at the Guyana Chronicle and Boodoo himself over what he considers their misrepresentation of several issues surrounding Boodoo’s tenure as the Chief Elections Officer. Alexander made known his displeasure with a letter that was carried in the state-owned Chronicle which sought to imply that there was a move of “ethnic cleansing” at the Elections Commission because of the apparent decision of the Commission not to renew Boodoo’s contract.

In a strongly worded letter to the press, the long time Peoples National Congress senior member explained that he could not understand how “the African Guyanese Commissioners be accused of racism or ethnic cleansing, at GECOM, when for their entire tenure, so far, only Indians have been offered jobs in the hierarchy with no objections from the African Guyanese Commissioners who are now referred to as the ethnic cleansers.”

Mr. Alexander said  the posts of the Human Resource and Administrative Managers at GECOM have been repeatedly, and only, filled by Indo-Guyanese within the last five (5) years. “And in instances where they have been fired or terminated from those said positions, they were fired at Mr. Boodoo’s insistence, with protestations from some Commissioners, including the African Guyanese Commissioners, in particular, over the manner in which their contracts were not renewed or terminated”, he countered.

On Gocool Boodoo’s tenure as Chief Elections Officer and instances where he miscalculated the votes and parliamentary seats for the political parties in favour of the Peoples Progressive Party Civic, Mr. Alexander detailed how he was the one who pointed out to Boodoo his miscalculation of the allocation of seats following the 2011 Elections.

The Chief Elections Officer was getting ready to announce that the People’s Progressive Party had regained control of the Parliament although the combined Opposition parties pulled in more votes. It was Alexander who insisted that Boodoo’s math was wrong and forced the Chief Elections Officer and the Commission to re-examine the final tally. That move resulted in the seat calculation for parliament being corrected and the joint Opposition parties taking over the parliament with a one seat majority. Alexander is convinced that it was no mistake on Boodoo’s behalf.gocool

In his letter he stated “Every day, there is someone referring to Boodoo’s action, in his preparation of the results of the 2011 elections, as a MISTAKE. There was no MISTAKE. Mr Boodoo was singularly responsible for converting the vote count into seats. This was not his first exposure to the task. It was his third. There is only one formula for converting the votes into seats. How could it be a mistake if a factor in the formula is changed?”

Alexander who also serves as Registrar at the University of Guyana “There was no error of calculation.  Sixty-five (65) replaced forty (40) in the formula.  Let it be known that no calculations were presented to the Commission for scrutiny. Signed declarations were presented.  There was nothing for the naked eye to discern. It was my academic knowledge of the system and my constant explanation of the system to students that equipped me to discern the fraudulent declaration (result).”

He said when he challenged the Chief Elections Officer,  Mr. Boodoo responded that he ‘was right and was presenting the correct results’.

“It required a sustained exchange; reference to the legal provisions that provide for the formula; and my insistence that he had used an incorrect formula that caused Mr Boodoo to resort to the correct and only available formula to recalculate the allocation of seats”, Alexander said.

According to the GECOM Commissioner, he remained quiet on the issue in the past because his “decency and professional cloak influenced my public silence, which has been exploited to drown out the truth and perpetuate falsehood”.

Alexander said “Enough is enough. I am now cloaked in Good Governance and guided by Openness and Transparency.”

The Opposition parties have not shirked from their position that the Guyana Elections Commission should not renew Boodoo’s contract. On Thursday, APNU Member of Parliament Joe Harmon said if Boodoo wants the job again, he should apply like everyone else who may be interested in the position. Harmon however made it clear that the Opposition was still not going to support Gocool Boodoo for the position.

According to Harmon, “Gocool Boodoo’s contract came to an end and that should be the end of Gocool Boodoo”.

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