AFC says GECOM should not be bullied

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The Alliance For Change (AFC) is calling on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to give a definitive answer as to its readiness for general and regional elections. At the same time, the Party is urging that GECOM is not bullied.

General Secretary of the AFC Marlon Williams told a news conference at the Party’s Kitty, Georgetown Headquarters that a bi-partisan approach by GECOM commissioners is needed to ensure that there is a solution.

Williams claimed that there are sections of society that are inciting fear and prejudice on the basis that GECOM has not provided a sufficient solution or position on its readiness to go to the polls.

As such, he urged the nation not to bully the Commission and to recognize the independence of GECOM

“Out of abundance of caution to ensure that our society remains constantly growing in its democratic principles, we ask that every person within society recognizes the independence of GECOM…we’d like to ensure that GECOM is not bullied by anyone within society,” Williams said.

GECOM has already stated that it needs 148 days to run off general and regional elections, and any rush can produce undesirable consequences, Keith Lowenfield, the country’s Chief Elections Officer (CEO) said.

The 148-day timeline is the earliest the Secretariat can run off elections and excludes the possibility of holding house to house registration, which could take nine months.

But the AFC is maintaining that it wants house to house registration.

“We in the Alliance for Change, are interested in seeing House to House registration, however, we will respect the decisions of GECOM once it gives a framework for the hosting of elections. So we encourage GECOM to as soonest, provide a position on that,” the General Secretary told reporters.

The Secretariat has not commenced any work because it needs to be given the go-ahead by the Elections Commission, which is made up of the Chairman, three Commissioners from the governing coalition and three Commissioners from the Opposition PPP.

Lowenfield said he has been “pleading” with the Commission to give him to go ahead to start operations for the elections but he has not been given that mandate and the elections Chairman could not say what is preventing the Commission from making a decision.

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