GECOM is not in receipt of notification for the conduct elections to elect a Mayor and NDC chairpersons in tied LAAs
STATEMENT BY GUYANA ELECTIONS COMMISSION
ELECTION OF MAYOR – Mabaruma
There is the existence of an equality of seats held by the APNU+AFC and the PPP/C in the Municipality of Mabaruma (6 seats each). This has, in the case of election for Mayor, resulted from equal number of votes cast by the elected councillors to elect a Mayor.
In this case, Section 13(6) of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Cap. 28:01 provides that on account of equality of votes, the Town Clerk shall appoint a date not later than December 28 in the same year for the election of the Mayor from the tied Candidates by the voters whose names appear on the register of voters, for the time being in force, for the city.
To date, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has not received any notification, as required by law, from the Clerk of the Municipality of Mabaruma, or from any other source, written or otherwise, that a date has been fixed for the conduct of an election in compliance with Section 13(6) of the Municipal and District Councils Act, Cap. 28:01.
ELECTION OF CHAIRPERSONS – NDCs
There is in existence an equality in the number of seats held by the APNU+AFC and the PPP/C in the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils of Malgre Tout/Meer Zorgen (8 seats each), Industry/Plaisance (9 seats each), Woodlands/Farm (8 seats each), Woodlands/Bel Air (4 seats each) Gilbralter/Fyrish (9 seats each) and Macedonia/Joppa (6 seats each).
Section 28(6) of the Local Government Act, Cap 28:02 provides that, if there is no election of Chairman on account of an equality of votes cast by the councillors present, “the overseer shall immediately fix a day within the last 10 days of the year for the election” by the registered voters, for the election of a Chairman from the councillors receiving the equal votes. This election must be held in the same manner provided for the election of village councillors”
To date, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has not received any notification, as required by law, from any of the respective Overseers, or from any other source, written or otherwise, that a date has been fixed for the conduct of an election in compliance with Section 28(6) of the Local Government Act, Cap 28:02
BY-ELECTION – Constituency No. 7, Rose Hall
In the case of the results for the election in Constituency No. 7 (Rose Hall Central) in the Municipality of Rose Hall, three Candidates contested in this Constituency and gained votes as follows:-
A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC)
Marcia Tonike Fraser- 130
People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)
Chattergoon Ramnauth – 166
Sandra Chisholm 166
Evidently, there is a tie between Ramnauth and Chisholm.
Relative to the election of Constituency Candidates, the Municipal and District Councils Act, Chapter 28:01, as amended by Section 53A. (1) of the Local Authorities (Elections) (Amendment) Act provides as follows:-
“Where a vacancy for a councillor in respect of the first-past-the-post number of councillors in a local authority area occurs as a result of death, resignation or any other cause, the Clerk of the Council shall, after compliance with the provisions of section 43 (1) of the Municipal and District Councils Act, inform the Elections Commission, which shall instruct the Chief Election Officer to hold a By-Election and the Chief Election Officer shall carry out the instructions thereof.”
Notably, there is no legal provision for the conduct of a by-election where there is an equality of votes for two or more Candidates for any Constituency election. Accordingly, the Commission is of the position that, since no one could be issued a Certificate of Election due to the equality of votes, no councillor could be appointed in respect of constituency No. 7 for the Municipality of Rose Hall. Therefore, the issue of the existence of a vacancy does not arise.
Recognising, this legal deficiency, the Commission took the unanimous decision to bring it to the attention of the powers that be through the Ministry of Legal Affairs towards having appropriate enabling legislation enacted in order to conduct the required by-election.
In view of the foregoing, GECOM takes this opportunity to make it abundantly clear that the Commission and its Secretariat stand prepared to hold any of the above referenced elections, if and when called upon to so do within the realms of the relevant legal authority.
Deputy Chief Election Officer