PPP wants int’l presence at GECOM ‘for quality control’ 

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo wants representatives from the United Nations and other international bodies to be present at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to serve as “quality control.”

Speaking at his weekly press conference at his Church Street, Georgetown office on Thursday, Jagdeo accused GECOM of colluding with the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), which is the larger faction of the governing coalition.

“They seem to reflect all the concerns of APNU, every single day,” Jagdeo told reporters.

Jagdeo expressed his position on the matter when he met with the Chairman Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh and the commissioners on Tuesday.

“I said to the Commission when I met with them that we must seek immediately to have an international presence for quality control in GECOM because the way Mr Lowenfield and some elements in the Secretariat are acting, you need another pair of eyes,” the Opposition Leader said.

Jagdeo, who is also a former President of Guyana, has been engaging in regular meetings with the Diplomatic Community since the passage of the No-Confidence Motion against the Government on December 21, 2018.

He noted that during his engagements, the United Nations and the Commonwealth have offered their assistance.

Jagdeo also called for a transparent process for the recruitment of polling day staff and random placement of those persons on elections day.

“Given what we have seen in the secretariat now, if they had control over placing staff, they may …recruit people who are aligned and place them in some polling places.

“We want a system where within a region, you have random placement so nobody knows where they are going; everybody is trained and then have a system for random placement,” he explained.

The Opposition Leader reiterated his concerns with the merging of the National Register of Registrants and data from the recently aborted house to house registration; he also restated his opposition to the March 2020 timeline suggested in a current working document of the GECOM Secretariat.

The Opposition Leader called for a swift start of the Claims and Objections period to begin the process to hold General and Regional Elections by the end of November.

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