PSC makes application to be election observer

first_imgThe Private Sector Commission (PSC) has submitted a request to become an observer for the upcoming elections in Guyana.It is the first local organisation to make a request to be an observer, according to Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward.The application was submitted following a meeting with the Chairperson of the GECOM, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh on Thursday.“Upon conclusion of the meeting, the PSC submitted a letter requesting accreditation to observe the upcoming General and Regional Elections,” GECOM said in a statement to the media on Friday.The 2015 General and Regional Elections attracted several local and international observers, including from the Carter Centre, the Commonwealth, the Organisation of American States (OAS), among others.GECOM’s Public Relations Officer explained to Guyana Times that international observers are accredited by the Government, not GECOM.For local observers, they have to express their interest to GECOM for the application process to begin.The PSC, the PRO explained, has taken the first in a series of steps to become accredited as an observer. The Commission will have to go through a number of procedures before they become accredited.Preparedness for the pollsThe Private Sector’s meeting with GECOM was to ascertain the entity’s preparedness for the polls, according to the statement.PSC Chairman Gerald Gouveia, during the two-hour long meeting, explained that there has been a fruitful relationship between the two agencies for more than fifteen years.He outlined some of the specific areas of collaboration in particular, the PSC’s role as accredited observers during elections and expressed an interest in continued support and collaboration.Members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) meeting with GECOM Chairperson Retired Justice Claudette Singh and Chief Elections Officer Keith LowenfieldHowever, the meeting focused extensively on the GECOM’s state of preparedness for the holding of the elections in light of the constitutional deadline, the CCJ’s ruling on the No-Confidence Motion and the recent ruling of the Chief Justice on House-to-House Registration.Specifically, the PSC expressed concerns as it relates to what was referred to as “the possible lengthy duration to merge the National Register of Registrant Databases (NRRDBs)”.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had explained that the merging of the data could push elections back until April 2020.“So, you understand this merger will not improve the database. It’s a delaying tactic once again,” he had stated during his press conference Thursday.Furthermore, the Opposition Leader had reasoned that the data collected during the more than 40-day registration exercise might even be illegal.GECOM had announced that it will scrap the House-to-House Registration exercise effective August 31, 2019 and will merge the data gathered so far with existing NRR.Early electionsMeanwhile, in response to the concerns raised by the Private Sector officials, the GECOM Chairperson assured that everything will be done to ensure elections are held as early as possible.“Justice Singh explained that in her capacity as GECOM’s Chairperson, she will be doing everything possible within her remit to ensure that the ruling of the Court is honoured and the elections are held within the shortest possible time,” GECOM stated.“She added that, based on her decisions taken at the last statutory meeting, the technical team is working to provide timelines to the Commission”.Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, who was also present at the meeting, provided details on the Secretariat’s operational activities.last_img read more