Weekly update on preparation for the General and Regional Elections – 2011

Guyana Elections Commission Corner

Official List of Electors for
upcoming elections certified

Chief Election Officer, Mr Gocool Boodoo has certified the Official List of Electors (OLE) to be used for the conduct of the General and Regional Elections –2011.  Consequently, Dr Steve Surujbally, Chairman of GECOM presented an electronic
copy of the certified OLE to President Bharrat Jagdeo.
Electronic copies of the OLE were also given by Dr Surujbally to Mr Robert Corbin, Leader of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) and Mr Donald Ramotar, General Secretary and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).  Electronic copies of the document were likewise given to the other parties which were represented in the recently dissolved Parliament.   Other political parties would be provided with copies of the certified OLE upon request.

GECOM meets political parties on suspension of CNS 6 broadcast licence
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) met on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, with representatives of A Partnership For National Unity (APNU), Alliance For Change (AFC) and The United Force (TUF) to discuss the recent suspension of the broadcast licence of CNS 6.
The meeting was held on Wednesday, October 5, 2011, at the GECOM Boardroom, 41, High and Cowan Streets, Kingston, Georgetown.
All of the parties emphasized that the suspension has placed them at a great disadvantage, insofar as equal media access for all political parties contesting the elections is concerned, and that the suspension has created an “uneven playing field.”

Dr Steve Surujbally, Chairman of GECOM, assured that the parties that their concerns, as delineated in their above mentioned letter, had been discussed at the 341st Statutory Meeting of the Commission on Tuesday, October 4, 2011, and that several relevant opinions had been put forward for consideration.  He expressed his preference, as he had done at the 341st Statutory Meeting, to seek legal guidance towards arriving at a determination on whether GECOM has jurisdiction to pronounce on the matter.

The party representatives at the meeting were Mr David Granger, Mr Oscar Clarke, Mr Joe Harmon and Dr Rupert Roopnaraine, all of the APNU, Ms Valerie Garrido-Lowe – TUF, Mr David Patterson and Mr Dominic Gaskin of the AFC.
Dr Surujbally was accompanied at the meeting by Commissioners Mr V Alexander, Mr C Corbin, Dr K Mangal, Mr M McDoom, Mr M Shaw, Mr R Williams; Chief Election Officer, Mr G Boodoo, Mr V Persaud, Public Relations Officer – GECOM AND Ms Juanita Barker Archibald, Legal officer – GECOM.

Newly accredited British High Commissioner pays courtesy call
on GECOM Chairman

Mr Andrew Ayre – newly accredited British High Commissioner to Guyana paid a courtesy call on Dr Steve Surujbally, Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at the GECOM Chairman’s Office.

Dr Surujbally updated Mr Ayre specifically on the recent certification of the Official List of Electors which marked the completion of a vital element of the preparations for the conduct of the upcoming elections.

The GECOM Chairman recounted for the benefit of Mr Ayre, issues associated with the recently concluded Claims and Objections exercise and its concomitant activities (eg Fingerprint Cross Matching, production and distribution of ID cards for new registrants etc), leading up to the production of an impeccable Official List of Electors for the 2011 elections.

Among other salient issues discussed were (i) GECOM’S consultative open door policy towards political parties, civil society organisations and the media, (ii) the accreditation of domestic and international observers, (iii) the provision of
technical support including the delegation of an International Technical Assessor (ITA), (iv) the resuscitation of the GECOM Media Monitoring Unit (MMU) and, (v) the establishment of an IT Monitoring Panel at GECOM, and (vi) statutory and administrative tasks to be completed in the run up to election day.
Mr Ayre assured Dr Surujbally of the continued commitment to assist GECOM in every possible way regarding the conduct of the upcoming elections in a free, fair and transparent manner.

GECOM organises meeting of returning officers and deputy returning officers
GECOM organized a meeting of all of the Returning Officers (ROs) and Deputy Return-ing Officers (DROs) who have been appointed to work in all of Guyana’s 10 Electoral Districts for the conduct of the upcoming elections.  The meeting was held on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at the Commission’s Com-mand Centre, Fort Street, Kingston.

The objectives of the meeting were for the participants to (i) report on the status of their respective offices, reporting on the status of work pertaining to the establishment of polling stations within their respective geographic areas of responsibility, (ii) identify possible deficiencies in support services and discuss recommended strategies for improvement, and (iii) discuss the GECOM work plan for the conduct of the upcoming elections.

Training of polling day staff
GECOM continues to move ahead with its nationwide series of two-day training sessions targeting personnel who will be employed to work throughout Guyana on polling day for the upcoming elections.  The sixth leg in the series was conducted simultaneously at 18 locations on October 8 and 8, 2011 in Electoral District 6.

Around the Web