A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) gave a report on their requested meeting with the GECOM Commission that was held on 2:00 pm on Tuesday 15th March via Zoom. In a press statement, the Opposition noted that this session was “cordial and fruitful, and covered a wide range of issues.”
In their presentation, the Coalition expressed that the country’s election system required substantial reforms and that GECOM should not engage in any new elections without these reforms. The Coalition further stated that this will ensure credible results.
The APNU+AFC highlighted issues surrounding the Continuous Registration Process. “ Among many other issues, lack of public information on Continuous Registration, breaches in GECOM processes, lack of consistency in the standard operating procedures at various offices.”
The coalition alleged that in some specific case, birth certificates were being used with varying features, while GECOM did not seem to have mechanisms in place to confirm their authenticity. During the meeting, Breaches in the hiring process and breaches in the process of issuing ID cards were also brought to the commission’s attention.
This the Opposition said has contributed on to their lack of confidence in the registration process. In response, they committed that Scrutineers will continue to be present at the various offices to police the process with the aim of protecting the interest of all Guyanese.
GECOM committed to deliberate on the matters raised and to conduct thorough investigations.
It was further agreed that GECOM will share its findings and will meet with the Coalition more frequently to discuss these matters and the more substantive issue on the approach to electoral reform and how the next Local Government Elections can be used as a testing ground for these reforms with the aim of producing free and fair elections in all future elections.
The Coalition team comprised PNCR Chairman, Hon. Shurwayne Holder, MP; PNCR General Secretary, Hon. Geeta Chandan-Edmond, MP; AFC General Secretary David Patterson, MP; and AFC Executive Member Cathy Hughes, MP.
Representing GECOM were Chairperson of GECOM, Ret. Justice Claudette Singh; CEO Vishnu Persaud; APNU+AFC Commissioners, Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman; PPP Commissioners, Bibi Shaddick, Manoj Narayan and Sase Gunraj.