PPP nominated GECOM Commissioners want all statutory meetings to cease until CCJ rules

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A statutory meeting of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was postponed Tuesday after People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) nominated Commissioner, Bibi Shadick insisted that all meetings should be cancelled until the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rules on cases related to the No-Confidence Motion.

Her request was met with disagreement from the Government nominated Commissioners and the Chairman.

As a result, Shadick and the other two PPP nominated Commissioners, SaseGunraj and Robeson Benn walked out of the meeting.

Subsequently, the Chair, Justice (ret’d) James Patterson prematurely ended the meeting, according to GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander.

“On this occasion, the Chairman declared that the meeting had come to an end,” Alexander said.

The CCJ has set May 10 for arguments challenging the No-Confidence ruling on March 22 by the Appeal Court.

 

Since the passage of the No-Confidence motion against the Government on December 21, 2018, the PPP nominated Commissioners have not sat through any GECOM meeting in protest of the Commission’s decision to move ahead with its house-to-house registration exercise.

A private citizen, Bibi Zeenatoun of 317 East Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown, has since filed a legal challenge to block the registration exercise.

Alexander told the media that while the matter was not discussed, he is confident that GECOM will win the case.

“It is very, very strange that people who have made in the past, laws about registration, who have voted for allocations for registration are now saying it is unconstitutional. [It] seems very opportunistic that that is being done… it is nothing more than a political maneuver,” Alexander told reporters outside GECOM Headquarters in Kingston, Georgetown.

Zeenatoun, who is represented by Attorney Anil Nandlall is asking the court to declare that the house-to-house registration exercise is “unconstitutional, ultra vires, illegal, null, void and of no effect.”

The application was filed two weeks after a letter was sent to the Chief Elections Officer by Nandlall, on behalf of GECOM Commissioner Robeson Benn, demanding that the elections body stop the house-to-house registration exercise.

GECOM is currently training staff and is expected to begin the House to House registration exercise in June.

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