President David Granger this morning wrote to Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (Ret’d) James Patterson requesting the body’s 2019 work programme in the shortest possible time.

In his missive to Justice Patterson, the President said it is essential that he is informed of the Commission’s readiness to deliver credible elections in Guyana.

“I urge you to present your plans, programmes, and financial needs which will guide my proclamation of a suitable date for elections,” the Head of State said in his correspondence to Justice Patterson.

Since the passage of the no confidence motion against the Government, President Granger has twice consulted with Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo. He also consulted the Chairman and Commissioners of GECOM.

The Head of State has emphasised that the Government of Guyana will not interfere or intrude in the work of the Commission.

He also noted in his statement to the media that Article 62 of the Constitution states that “Elections shall be independently supervised by the Election[s] Commission in accordance with the provisions of Article 162.”

Article 161 A (1) says “the Elections Commission shall be responsible for the efficient functioning of the Secretariat of the Commission, which shall comprise the officers and employees of the Commission, and for the appointment of all the staff to the offices thereof inclusive of all temporary staff, recruited for the purposes of boundary demarcation, registration or persons and elections and shall have the power to remove and exercise disciplinary control over such staff.”

Granger also pointed out that Article 161 (B) makes the role of the political parties and their nominees in the conduct of elections by the Elections Commission clear. It says that “the role of political parties and their nominees in the conduct of elections by the Elections Commission shall be limited to their participation in determining policy, monitoring the electoral process and the conduct of the election, but does not include active management of the electoral process.”

Moreover, the President highlighted that Article 162 (1) of the Constitution speaks to the Commission having functions connected with or relating to the registration of electors or the conduct of elections as are conferred upon it by or under the Constitution, or subject to any Act of Parliament, and to the provisions of the Constitution, the Commission “shall exercise general direction and supervision over the registration of electors and the administrative conduct of all elections of members of the National Assembly and shall issue such instructions and take such action as appear to it necessary or expedient to ensure impartiality, fairness and compliance with the provisions of this Constitution or any Act of Parliament on the part of persons exercising powers or performing duties connected with or relating to the matters aforesaid.”


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