EXCLUSIVE: Army preparing for elections by June
With the passage of the December 21 No Confidence motion, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) has commenced preparations for the hosting of new general and regional elections and anticipates that those elections will be held by June this year.
This is according to an official communication sent to high-ranking officials of the Army; as in all preparations for elections by the Army, the operation is called Plexus.
The letter, seen by the News Room, outlined the passage of the No Confidence motion was tabled by the members of the Opposition and passed in the National Assembly, “triggering new elections for no later than June, 2019.”
It also cited the legal challenges made by the Government to nullify the vote which secured passage of the motion.
Further, it stated: “The Chairman of the Joint Services Coordinating Council (JSCC) directed that the JSTC conducts a series of training and coordination (Exercise HOLDFAST) in preparation for ‘E’ Day.”
The Chairman of the JSCC is GDF’s Chief-of-Staff, Brigadier Patrick West.
He stated: “Higher commander directed that a joint operation be planned and executed to ensure the smooth conduct of national general elections.”
While the Guyana Police Force (GPF) will be the lead Service throughout, GDF informed its Officers that the operation will be broken down into three phases: Pre-Election activities (Exercise HOLDFAST), Election Day activities, and Post-Election Day activities.
The Operation will target electoral activities in all 10 Administrative Regions.
Exercise HOLDFAST, which is to commence on February 5, 2019, will include, inter alia: embossing and debussing drills, vehicle ambushes, and patrolling. This Exercise will also make the necessary preparations for Election Day for Officers and Ranks, and this includes the reconciliation of the voters’ list and Identification cards.
Phase two, which will be Election Day activities, will include support for the civil power in the maintenance of law and order, and upgraded security on all Bases and border locations.
Phase three, which involves post-Election Day activities, will focus on the maintenance of law and order.