The three-member CARICOM high-level team which scrutinized the Guyana elections vote recount has recommended an urgent audit and reform of the Guyana Elections Commission.
In a copy of their report seen by News Source, the team said if GECOM is left in its present form, it would be a “tragedy for the nation and people of Guyana”.
The CARICOM team noted that the Guyana Elections Commission in its present form is a creature of the dominant political parties and there is little interest on the part of the Commissioners in ensuring that elections and the electoral environment are conducive to the integrity based elections which will reflect the will of the people.
The Elections Commission is made up of a Chairman who is selected based on agreement of the President and the Opposition Leader, and six Commissioners. Three Commissioners are nominated by the Government while the remaining three are nominated by the Opposition.
The CARICOM team found that the Commissioners are dominated by the ethos of positing their respective parties to political victory.
“We therefore urge the immediate rethinking of the structural organisation of GECOM, particularly with respect to the selection of Commissioners”, the CARICOM team stated.
The team wants an urgent political audit of the Elections Commission including its successes and shortcomings.
“The net effect of GECOM’s political nature is the fact that what ought to have been an essentially technical and administrative process was intimately linked and stymied by a process of negotiations, bargaining and constant and persistent renegotiations with the powerful Private Sector Commission and political parties with their incessant demands that often saw GECOM twisting and turning like a willow tree and not the oak tree that is required”, the CARICOM team remarked in their 152 page report.
The team spent over a month in Guyana observing and scrutinizing the vote recount process. They found that although irregularities were uncovered during the recount, it is their view that the recount also represented the will of the people and is therefore acceptable.