GUYANA | Opposition demand consultation on Election Commission of Inquiry

GUYANA | Opposition demand consultation on Election Commission of Inquiry

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, June 23, 2022 - Guyana’s Opposition People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), and Alliance For Change (AFC) political parties are demanding that they be consulted on crafting the terms of reference for the recently announced 2020 election commission of inquiry, in order to ensure broad-based acceptance.

PNCR Executive Member, Retired Rear Admiral Gary Best told the media that “as the President has insisted on being a judge in his own cause, the PNCR demands that the government and opposition agree on finalising the terms of reference, if only to reduce potential bias and expose the nation to the plethora of evidence of electoral malpractice by the PPP in the recently concluded 2020 general and regional elections.” 

The Opposition parties are suggesting that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) reconsider its position and conduct an internal review of the 2020 polls utilizing the election petitions now before the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ). 

The PNCR said the ‘Commission Of Inquiry’ COI amounts to an “interference in the ongoing judicial process” as it is expected to  permit ‘hear-say’ evidence that could do harm to person’s reputation but cannot be used in the courts.

Rear Admiral Best said his party will participate in the hearings and present its evidence that the APNU+AFC coalition and the PNCR did not commit any electoral offenses. Instead it was the now governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which has committed electoral fraud.

The Alliance for Change (AFC) also called for the Elections Commission (GECOM) to conduct an internal review of its processes to identify flaws and weaknesses in the system, operations, and human resources of GECOM.” 

The AFC also noted that the Opposition parties should be consulted on crafting the terms of reference on the Commission to probe the 2020 general and regional elections. such an exercise should focus on the make-up of the commission, and timeline for doing its works. 

“This consultative, inclusive approach would certainly have engendered a modicum of acceptability and legitimacy of whatever final report it will produce, plus a participation in the Commission’s work by a greater number of Guyanese,” that party said in a statement.

The AFC said despite its misgivings about the process for establishing the COI, it hoped that the deliberations of the Commission produce a profound set of recommendations which will ensure that GECOM produces free, fair, and credible elections in future.

 “This might assist GECOM in restoring its credibility, something the AFC wants to see happen as early as possible,”  the AFC said.

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