Leader of the Opposition and A Parnership for National Unity Leader, David Granger believes its time for the Chief Elections Officer Gocool Boodoo to head off into retirement and enjoy that retirement.
Boodoo’s contract expired in April and there has been talk about extending that contract. The Opposition parties have said they do not intend to support any extension of Gocool Boodoo’s work with the Elections Commission and the Commission ought to begin a search for a new Chief Elections Officer.
But with the Government appearing supportive of keeping Boodoo around there is a deadlock on the Elections Commission and the Chairman of the Commission might be forced to cast a tie breaking vote. The Government has three nominees on the Commission and the Opposition also has three nominees.
In an interview with News Source, the Opposition Leader said “we are not supporting Gocool Boodoo and we believe he should go and give way for a new appointment to the position of Chief Elections Officer.”
Mr. Granger added that with the current make up of the National Assembly with the combined opposition holding the majority, Guyana is seeing a new “age of transparency” and he wants the Guyana Elections Commission to embark on a transparent process that will see a new Chief Elections Officer being appointed.
In the APNU Column in the Sunday Kaieteur News, the group referred to the Chief Elections Officer as a “serial blunderer” and documented several mistakes that he has made over the years with elections results and the vote count. Specific reference was made to the 2011 General Elections and Boodoo being prepared to give the People’s Progressive Party control of the Parliament although the combined opposition came out with the most votes. That blunder was corrected just before the announcement of the Official Elections results when Opposition nominated member of the Elections Commission Vincent Alexander pointed out the discrepancy.
The APNU also highlighted the issue involving the Alliance For Change and the 2006 Elections when the PPP was able to snatch a regional seat in parliament although the AFC pulled in more votes than the PPP. The AFC moved to the courts over the issue but the seat was never handed to the party as the court case crawled on for years.
While the Opposition parties consider Gocool Boodoo as one of the most experienced elections officials in Guyana, they do not intend to continue supporting his presence in the position although he has worked at the Commission for 20 years.
Both the APNU and the AFC believe the Elections Commission needs some reform to avoid colliding with mistakes of the past.