“It is indeed true that the members of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are supposed to decide collectively on matters related to the readiness of the body for holding credible elections. But how can collective decisions be made when the PPP appointed Commissioners are in the habit of walking out of meetings? They were holding GECOM at ransom.”
These statements were made moments ago by Government appointed Commissioner, Vincent Alexander as he sought to justify the letter written by GECOM Chairman, Justice Retired James Patterson to President, David Granger earlier today. In his missive, the Chairman said that the earliest possible time for holding General and Regional Elections is late November 2019.
At a press conference held today at the Office of the Leader of the Opposition; PPP Commissioners, Bibi Shaddick, Robeson Benn, and Sase Gunraj said they were not consulted on this letter. As such, they accused the GECOM Chairman of running the entity like his personal courthouse.
In response to such a position, Alexander said, “Every time a discussion is embarked upon that isn’t specific to what the PPP Commissioners want, they walk out. So what the Chairman has done is said that these are the matters which you [the President] requested information on and since I am the seventh person [making up the Commission], I am therefore providing what I think is the majority position of GECOM.”
The Commissioner added, “That is essentially what has happened because…these people are holding us at ransom by walking out [and] so we can’t make decisions. But we know what their position is because they have come forward and said this is what they want, that is, elections in 90 days.”
Alexander said that the Chairman, having consulted with the GECOM Secretariat, ascertained what is workable and based on that, wrote the President.
“So they can no longer hold him or GECOM at ransom,” said the Commissioner.