Rohee accuses GECOM of “security breaches cover up”

Rohee accuses GECOM of “security breaches cover up”

The governing People’s Progressive Party continued its assault on the integrity of the Guyana Elections Commission on Monday morning with the party’s General Secretary, Clement Rohee, accusing the election body of “covering up” several security breaches that have taken place at GECOM.

At his Monday morning press conference at the PPP Freedom House headquarters, Mr. Rohee announced that he is in receipt of information that several containers of the ink which is used for marking the fingers of voters, have gone missing. He said he has also gathered information that several key pieces of electronic equipment have also gone missing from the Guyana Elections Commission.

The PPP General Secretary who serves as the Minister of Home Affairs in the government, said GECOM needs to call in Police investigators and have the disappearance investigated. He accused the elections commission of trying to keep the “security breaches” private but he is of the view that the Commission needs to come clean on the alleged missing items and make the information available to the Guyanese public.

“The PPP raises this concern noting that there have been significant losses in electoral material and other items from GECOM. The PPP has been reliably informed that 25 cartons of indelible electoral ink and dozens of black water tanks have gone missing or are unaccounted for within GECOM and what is even more alarming is that there seems to be efforts at GECOM to keep these breaches of security from the public and stakeholders”, Rohee said.

He added that the cover up of security breaches will only serve to shake stakeholder confidence in the Commission.

The PPP has been firing off at the Elections Commission over the past months on several issues from their preparations for local or national elections to their hiring practices.

The Party still wants the removal of newly installed GECOM Public Relations Officer, Richard Francois.

According to Mr. Rohee, the post of Public Relations Officer should be one that is not clouded in bias. He has accused Mr. Francois of being pro opposition and writing letters to the newspapers in the past that are supportive of the Opposition.

However, Mr. Rohee has been dodging the fact that Mr. Francois has worked over the past years with several government agencies and Ministries and his professionalism has never been questioned.

The Elections Commission and its Chairman appear to be standing firmly behind the appointment. Last week, the GECOM Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally told a media training programme that on the issue of the GECOM Public Relations Office, the dye has already been cast.

Rohee said he and his party are “not comforted” by the words of the Elections Commission Chairman and therefore the party will continue to voice its concern.

The PPP General Secretary said the party has  only been “tickling” the Guyana Elections Commission with its concerns but the time might soon come for the complaints to move from “tickling” to “jooking”.

Filed: 27th October, 2014

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