After close to two months of deliberations and four proposed plans for the conduct of Local Government Elections (LGE), the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is still to finalize its plan.
On Tuesday, the Elections Commission and its Chairman, retired Justice Claudette Singh asked the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Vishnu Persaud to revise his work plan for a fifth time.
“The date for LGE is still to be settled. We are into the 5th revision of the plan,” Elections Commissioner Vincent Alexander told News Source on Wednesday.
In his most recent plan, the Chief Elections Officer proposed that the Local Government Elections be held on February 13, 2023 but the Commission has asked him to produce a more realistic timeline. Mr Alexander said the Commission is concerned that the internal timelines may result in slippages and eventual delays in the holding of the elections.
He explained that the Commission does not want to create a situation where the Minister is advised to announce a particular date for the elections, and after that announcement is made, the Secretariat is unable to deliver within the specified period.
The Chief Elections Officer is expected to present his revised plan with a later date in February when the Commission meets again next Tuesday.
The Minister of Local Government will be required to seek an additional extension from the National Assembly based on the advice of the Elections Commission because of the long delay.
“We would have to advise the Minister on our state of preparedness, and he will have to do what is necessary to get an extension,” Commissioner Alexander had explained in an earlier interview.
GECOM is moving ahead with its plans for the Local Government Elections although the APNU+AFC Opposition has been pressing for a new voters list.
Mr Alexander said the three opposition-nominated Commissioners are also adamant that there should be no election in the absence of a clean voters’ list.
“There are those of us who believe that GECOM should not proceed with any plan outside of addressing the issue of the list,” the Elections Commissioner said on Wednesday.
Local Government Elections were last held in November, 2018.