一品香邮件

first_imgDear Editor,In a letter titled “GECOM’s tinkering with Revised List of Electors is unlawful and must be discontinued” (Stabroek News, 09/01/2020), Commissioner Sase Gunraj expressed alarm that Secretariat of the Commission is manipulating the Revised List of Electors (RLE).According to the Commissioner, the revision to the list is not only unlawful but will create confusion on Election Day (E-Day), for example, some voters may end up on lists outside the district they are supposed to vote, and multiple voting may be facilitated.On a programme on Wednesday evening, the three GECOM Commissioners representing the PPP/C indicated that there would be an emergency meeting on Thursday to resolve this issue. However, I am not confident that anything useful will come out of the meeting based on recent events. Last month, we saw the Chairman of GECOM voting in favour of field verification of new registrants.The vote by the Chairman of GECOM offered a fleeting moment of hope of free and fair elections since her action signalled that she will be objective and stand on the side of fairness and decency (Demerara Wave, 18/12/2019). However, in an article published by Kaieteur News yesterday (Thursday, January 9, 2020), the same Chairwoman was quoted as saying, “… we can’t just remove people’s names because we could not locate them. We don’t have that right to disenfranchise these persons by removing their names from the voters’ list” (see Kaieteur News, 09/01/2020).Based on the utterance of the Chairman, it means that all the ‘new registrants’ will be included on the list, whether their existence was verified or not. In other words, the entire list of new registrants will be included on the RLE, thereby making the verification exercise she voted for useless. More importantly, it means that 6000 unverified electors will be afforded an opportunity to vote on E-Day; this is more than the number of votes that facilitated a victory for the APNU/AFC at the 2015 elections.To complicate an already complicated situation, we are told they will have a meeting today at GECOM to determine if the manipulation of the RLE would be allowed to continue. If we use the treatment of the verification of ‘new registrants’ as a guide, then we should not be surprised if a vote is taken to continue the manipulation of the RLE or a subsequent decision made by the Commission that would render this vote useless.In this regard, the country is merely wasting time with an election since suspicion of irregularities on E-Day will not inspire any confidence in the results. Given the unwillingness of the Courts to accommodate election petitions, we will also have to prepare to live another five years with a new Government that will be regarded as illegitimate by a large section of our population.In 1997, we saw what happened when voters refused to accept the results. There were riots, and the Opposition vowed to make the country ‘ungovernable’. The question is, ‘do we want a repeat of 1997?’ If the answer to the question is no, then all decent-minded Guyanese must join Commissioner Gunraj and demand that GECOM stops the unlawful exercise and shenanigans as we approach E-Day.Sincerely,S Pashalast_img read more