The Government is calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to provide a timely and more thorough and holistic status report detailing its level of readiness and preparedness for the holding of local government and/or general elections.
Speaking at his weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at the Office of the President on Wednesday, Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon explained that after five rounds of continuous registration, a list is prepared which will be subject to the statutory process called ‘claims and objections’ period. This period is scheduled for August-September. Another important prerequisite is a qualifying date.
“One cannot claim and one cannot object on one’s presence on the list in the absence of the age criteria, so GECOM manufactured an age criteria, a qualifying list and a qualifying date of April 31. It is Cabinet’s understanding that that qualifying date confers a specific and time-bound period of validity,” the HPS said.
The qualifying date set by GECOM confers a specific and time-bound period of validity; therefore the list that is based on that date is not a list for all times. It is a list that could only be used if elections were called within the period of validity.
“There seems to be a view that this might be a march that GECOM is pulling by seeming to set an election date… because without a declaration by setting a qualifying date that confers an obligatory period of validity of a list then it’s saying if you want to use that list Mr. President you have to call elections within this period,” Dr. Luncheon said.
The Cabinet Secretary said that there can be something “sinister” in this approach since it essentially marginalises the constitutional role of the Executive President in making that declaration for elections.
“A fear has arisen that we could be reverting those, the sequence of activities…let GECOM submit for popular consideration, a status report on the readiness its claims, the exhortations of the chairman should now be matched by the evidence and if indeed, short-comings and deficiencies are identified, let’s fix them to the satisfaction of stakeholders and electorate, and let us get on with those other important issues that impact on the development of Guyana,” the HPS said. (GINA)