Teixeira blasts US Ambassador for GECOM ‘not in crisis’ comment

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By Bibi Khatoon

The United States Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway had recently opined that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is not at a “crisis point yet,” even though it has been without a Chairperson since Dr Steve Surujbally resigned in November 2016.

However, lamenting on the implications of the Commission not having a Chairperson, Executive Member and Parliamentarian of the People’s Progressive Party, Gail Teixeira said, “I don’t care if the US Ambassador [Perry Holloway] says that the GECOM is not in crisis. He is not Guyanese, he is not going to vote in these elections. We are.”

She was at the time making remarks at the Private Sector Commission (PSC) Business Summit held at the Guyana Mariott Hotel on Thursday, October 12.  She urged that as a “sign of good faith, at the political level, we need to be able to treat with the issue of the Chairman of GECOM…we have to deal with this issue because this is going to become a flash-point,” in the future.

US Ambassador to Guyana, Perry Holloway

President David Granger has since rejected two lists of nominees which were submitted by Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo; the Opposition Leader has since submitted a third list which is under consideration. The President and Opposition leader are expected to meet on the issue.

The US Ambassador during an interview with the State newspaper had said that a number of professionals are employed at the Commission and it is for this reason GECOM continues to function. He likened the situation to that of the U.S. Embassy in Guyana being without an Ambassador for 14 months before he was appointed.

However, during her presentation, Teixeira also stated that the work of the commission is stalled with the absence of a Chairman. Teixeira explained that the Chairman is needed to sign off on the other round of Continuous Registration and a preliminary voters list in the case of an early election.

The Local Government Elections is scheduled for 2018 while Regional and General Elections are scheduled for 2020.

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