Following the passage of the No-Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been accused of acting in the interest of the government and, after a precursory review of the entity’s actions in the last few months, Transparency International Guyana Inc. (TIGI) says that the perception is one which GECOM cannot run from.
In light of this, the transparency body has initiated discussions among its members on the matter, with a conclusion to be had quite soon. This was confirmed with the Guyana Standard today by TIGI Head, Dr. Troy Thomas.
The TIGI Head recalled that, prior to the Appellate Court’s ruling that the No-Confidence Motion was not validly passed, there was a constant back and forth between the PPP and the Ministry of the Presidency on when elections are to be held and on GECOM’s readiness to facilitate same.
The PPP had contended that elections had to be held in 90 days from December 21 but the Government said that a date for such could not be called until GECOM speaks on its state of preparedness. With the votes of the GECOM Chairman and Government-appointed Commissioners, it was decided that elections can be held, at the earliest, late November. It was also insisted that credible elections would not be possible without a clean voters’ list. However, despite criticisms in some quarters, the GECOM Chair and the Government appointed Commissioners still went ahead and voted to go forward with house-to-house registration.
Considering these events, Dr. Thomas said, “We have been discussing the GECOM matter and we are not done as yet. But it does appear that given the way things have happened, it seems to be somehow aligned with the government, or at least, it seems to be doing things which suit the government’s interests.”
He continued, “After the No-Confidence Motion was passed, GECOM did say that it could be ready in 90 days. Then you saw that was changed…We were approaching some dire circumstances. Had the Appeal Court upheld the High Court’s ruling [which said that the motion was successfully passed] then we would have been in a pickle.”
The TIGI Head added, “And when you take all that into consideration, the ruling of the court and the actions of GECOM, it seems very convenient. GECOM cannot run away from the perception that it was operating in the interest of the government.”
Dr. Thomas noted that the matter is one which TIGI takes seriously and assured that the entity’s views will be made public shortly.