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GECOM to seek legal advice about Gocool Boodoo

Gocool Boodhoo

The seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Tuesday decided to seek legal advice on whether Gocool Boodoo should be re-appointed Commissioner Chief Elections Officer (CEO) and Commissioner of National Registration.

Boodoo’s last tenure has been blemished by a miscalculation of the November 2011 general and regional election results that almost gave the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) a one-seat majority. However, Commissioner Vincent Alexander quickly realised that Boodhoo had used the wrong formula to compute the results.

GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally decided to solicit a legal opinion in light of a letter from Boodoo’s lawyer, Mursalene Bacchus.

“”The matter was discussed but not brought to a closure.  The Chairman will be seeking legal advice in view of a letter he received from a lawyer for Mr. Boodoo,” a GECOM source told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com).

Bacchus threatened to take legal action if Boodoo’s application was not favourably considered on grounds of legitimate expectation, fairness and natural justice.

Opponents to Boodoo’s reappointment alleged that he flouted one condition of the contract by expressing an interest in the post less than the stipulated time of three months. “The notice to renew was given in less than ninety days like about two and a half months instead of three months and they said the letter was not valid,” said the source.

Another option put to the Commission was that since Boodoo’s contract expired on April 30, GECOM has a vacancy which should be advertised. One view is that the current impasse should be resolved by the Commission or in the High Court before the post is advertised.

Alexander had unearthed a discrepancy in Boodoo’s calculation that had excluded the 25 constituency seats and only taken  40 seats into consideration. Boodhoo’s original calculation had given the PPPC 33 seats with 48.57 percent of votes, the AFC six and APNU 26.

When Alexander corrected Boodoo’s calculation, the PPPC ended up with 32, AFC seven and APNU 26.

Under the law, the Chief Elections Officer must present the results to the Commission before they are officially declared

The opposition Alliance For Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) oppose Boodoo’s reappointment.
(Kwesi Isles contributed to this report)