GECOM to pay legal fees for Gov’t Commissioners, Chairman facing charges

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will foot the legal fees for the Government nominated Commissioners and its Chairman who are facing private criminal charges.

According to Opposition nominated Commissioner Bibi Shadick, Chairman Rt’d Justice James Patterson along with the Commissioners – Charles Corbin, Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman – took a vote in their favour Thursday for GECOM to pay their legal fees.

“GECOM must pay for lawyers to represent those people who sit down there to violate the constitution. We [Opposition nominated Commissioners] said no. The Commissioners voted for themselves that GECOM will pay their legal fees,” Shadick told the media outside GECOM following a meeting Thursday.

Chairman of GECOM, James Patterson.

Private criminal charges were filed with Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan by Guyanese citizen Marcel Gaskin and accused the four men of “conspiracy to breach the constitution contrary to the common law.”

Shadick appeared highly peeved at the decision of GECOM to pay the fees and noted that the four men in question are hijacking the constitution of Guyana.

“All of this nonsense… is like hijacking the constitution that we have and then GECOM must pay to represent the people who hijacking it and this is absolute nonsense. There is no way that we are going to sit there and knowingly breach the constitution of our land,” Shadick said.

As a result of the passage of the December 21 No Confidence motion against the coalition Government, elections are constitutionally due by March 21, unless there is an extension in the National Assembly by a vote of two thirds of its 65 members.

To date, GECOM continues to claim that it cannot hold elections by that timeline.

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