GECOM seeks Police protection for field staff
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says it is in receipt of several reports of threats and intimidation from its field staff who are conducting House-to-House Registration.
“Over the last few days, a number of Enumerators were attacked and injured due to dog bites which were instigated by residents who are allegedly not in agreement with the registration exercise loosing their dogs to attack the field staff,” GECOM said in a statement Wednesday.
According to GECOM, it was also reported that some persons are using threatening language, instilling fear and providing misinformation that the staff will not be paid for their service.
As a consequence, the Commission has engaged the Guyana Police Force to provide surveillance in communities and to assist with the security of the field staff.
“The Commission is, therefore, urging citizens to desist immediately from such unlawful and obscene acts as they will be arrested and prosecuted.
“In addition, the Commission wishes to remind citizens that registration is a legal requirement and they have a responsibility to ensure they are registered.”
Only this week, Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield reported that as a result of claims that the activity is illegal, staff are being attacked.
“We’ve had incidences where dogs are let out on our numerators in the field; we’ve had scenarios in which enumerators are told that as staff working with us that they will not be paid and should no longer participate in the process.
“These are all erroneous,” the CEO told the media in the presence of newly appointed Chair of GECOM, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh on Monday morning.
The Opposition has deemed the process illegal, arguing that it will not be completed by September 18 –the date by which the party wants General and Regional Elections to be held in keeping with a three-month constitutional deadline.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo had also told supporters that his party will not be cooperating with the process.