GECOM Secretariat, not the Commission, failed the nation -President Ali
His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali says it was the Guyana Elections Commission’s Secretariat that failed Guyana at the last election and not the Commission itself. President Ali said the five-month long election process was due to unprofessionalism by rogue elements.
The President noted that former Region Four Returning Officer, Mr. Clairmont Mingo and Chief Election Officer, Mr. Keith Lowenfield are not members of the Commission, but contributed to the problem.
Dr. Ali was a guest Monday evening on GlobeSpan 24×7 programme, promoting Government’s developmental agenda. His comments were in response to a question on whether it was the political makeup of the Commission that had led to the electoral impasse that followed the March 2 polls
President Ali said it is the Secretariat that needs restructuring.
“It is the professionals who are supposed to be unbiased that failed us in the first place. The Secretariat itself, and that is what has to be addressed, the restructuring of the entity itself. We did not reach to the Commission, the problem started with rogue actions. The problem started with unprofessional behaviour in the wide view of the world… You have to decide whether you are a politician or you are a professional and that is one of the major problems that we have to address in the country.
Electoral reform is critical, but I do not want us to forget that sometimes we narrow it to this Carter formula on this Commission, but the Secretariat itself failed. The professionalism and professional conduct that was expected there did not deliver and that has to be fixed,” the President said.
Meanwhile, President Ali said electoral reform remains high on the Government’s agenda and it is all aimed at ensuring a better country, with a stronger, more functional democracy.
The protracted process of declaring a winner of the March 2 elections has been described by the PPP/C Government as an attempt by the APNU+AFC Coalition to hijack the elections. Several matters concerning the elections were taken before the High and Appeal Courts of Guyana and the Caribbean Court of Justice.
To date, several GECOM officials and one from the APNU have been charged with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit electoral fraud and are before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court. This includes Messrs. Mingo and Lowenfield and former Minister of Public Health, Ms. Volda Lawrence.