PPP Commissioners walk out of GECOM meeting

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See full statement below issued by Opposition Nominated GECOM Commissioners Thursday:

At a Statutory Meeting of the Guyana Elections Commission held on the 26th February 2019, a letter written by President David Granger, was provided to Commissioners.

The said letter, dated the 25th February 2019, was presented to Commissioners upon arrival at the meeting. The letter, inter alia, urged the Guyana Elections Commission to commence preparations for the holding of General and Regional Elections.

Today, the 28th February, 2019, our attention was drawn by the Leader of the Opposition to the existence of a second letter, purportedly under the hand of President David Granger, also dated the 25th of February, 2019.

Commissioner Bibi Shadick made contact with the Office of the Chairman of GECOM and requested a copy of correspondence received by the Chairman from the President.

An email was received from the Office of the Chairman of GECOM at 1:07 pm on the 28th February, 2019 in which the one letter was attached.

At a meeting of the Commission held today at 3pm, an inquiry was made about the existence of a second letter and the Chairman only then confirmed the existence of a second letter and copies were hurriedly made and provided to Commissioners.

We believe that this ‘second letter’ was only sent to GECOM after it was exposed at the Press Conference of the Leader of the Opposition that the letter posted on the Ministry of the Presidency’s website significantly differed in content from the one circulated to Commissioners on the 26th February, 2019.

No previous mention was made of this second letter nor was any effort made to present copies thereof to Commissioners.

A discussion on the content of this second letter ensued and upon inquiry, the Chairman responded that it was not his opinion that the second letter superseded the first.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander then tendered the view that it did supersede the first.

Thereafter, a request was made by Commissioner Shadick for the Secretariat to provide a plan for preparation for the holding of elections, in keeping with the urging of the President. At this point, Commissioners Alexander and Trotman insisted that any such plan must include House to House Registration.

This flies in the face of the urgent need, as prescribed by the Constitution of Guyana, to hold elections within 3 (three) months of the successful passage of a vote of no confidence.

Further, it can only be seen as another act in the series of dilatory tactics employed by certain Commissioners and the Secretariat of GECOM to derail this important and constitutionally mandated timeframe.

It has become very obvious that there was no plan to be discussed regarding the preparation for elections, we were left no option but to walk out of the meeting.

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