Total revamp of GECOM needed

The five months following the March 2 General and Regional Elections was a clear indication that there needs to have a total revamp of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

This view was shared by economist and businessman Mr. Peter Ramsaroop, The New Movement (TNM) presidential candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon and Mr. Rawle Aaron, Executive Member of the United Republican Party (URP).

During a recent interview on the National Communications Network (NCN), the trio discussed the March 2 polls and the issues which followed.

The agonizing five months began when District 4 Returning Officer, Mr. Clairmont Mingo issued false declarations for Region 4 which have been proven to be inflated in favour of the former administration.  Some of the figures had been inflated in some instances in favour of the APNU/AFC and in some cases, the numbers for the PPP/C have been reduced.

TMN presidential candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon alluded the situation to one which is cancerous to the country which had stymied democracy and the democratic process.

“Medically speaking when there is cancer, we need to take it out by doing chemotherapy and that is what we need to do to GECOM…there needs to be a proper screening of people to put in and start fresh. There are five years until another election, let’s get it done now.”

Dr. Kissoon suggested that each of the country’s political parties should be represented at GECOM and not just the two major political players.

URP Executive, Rawle Aaron echoed similar sentiments noting that the country should not have to ensure what they did over the last five months where its people were held hostage by a group of people intent on committing fraud.

“As such, we must have effective electoral reform,” he said.

Mr. Ramsaroop added that even though GECOM is an independent body, it is still tied to legislation.

“In Parliament, that’s where the laws have to be reviewed and the constitutional direction in how GECOM is constituted and this must be done during the 12th Parliament and during that session, you will find the changes that need to happen,” Ramsaroop opined. Over the last five months, the will of the people was constantly denied as GECOM continuously, particularly the Chief Elections Officer failed to produce legitimate declarations for the March 2 polls which showed the PPP/C as the clear winner.