Private sector praises GECOM for well-run polls but concerned over low turnout

Desmond Sears

Private Sector Commission (PSC) Chairman Desmond Sears on Tuesday expressed concern over the low voter turnout at Monday’s local government elections but praised the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for ensuring the voting process went well.

“It went very smoothly and I think that GECOM should be commended for that but of concern was that the turnout was very low,” Sears told Stabroek News.

Sears said that the PSC had a 50-member observer group that was spread out across the country and a “command centre” at the PSC’s Georgetown headquarters, which received information throughout the day.

“We went as an observer group of 50 persons…we had persons all over the country; from East Berbice to Lethem, in Georgetown… all over. We formed a WhatsApp group with these observers so they fed reports in real time,” he said.

“Through those reports we received, the voting was smooth. Few incidents, very minor incidents and they were quickly resolved. All in all, the process went very well,” he added.  Sears noted that the organisation’s command centre was visited during the day by foreign envoys and information was exchanged.

“We were visited by the US Ambassador, British High Commissioner and Head of the European Union…they were briefed and we exchanged information,” Sears said.

He added that the organisation is hoping that official declarations will be made by GECOM in a swift manner.

“We are hoping for a quick tabulation of the results,” he further said.  

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