GPSU watching GECOM amid calls for several criminally charged officers to be removed

Last Updated on Friday, 25 December 2020, 14:49 by Denis Chabrol

The Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) has said it is paying keen attention to what’s going on at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

“The Union has taken a keen interest in this matter due to its potential for unconstitutional prejudices to be meted out to its members at GECOM, given that the said Union members, are also charged with the responsibility of ensuring the credibility and transparency of the electoral process,” the union said in a statement.

This is amid calls by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for several officers, who have been charged criminally with several offences linked to electoral fraud at the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, to be removed from duties ahead of next year’s Local Government Elections.

The Union contends that the withdrawal of private criminal charges and the institution of criminal charges by the State is not sufficient reason to justify the call by the PSC.

This, the GPSU says, is more so due to the fact that its members at GECOM are also responsible for ensuring that the electoral process is credible and transparent. “Consequently, the Union in the interest of free and fair elections, takes this opportunity to once again be pellucid in its support for the constitutional requirement of free and fair, and free from fear elections. Equally, the Union firmly supports citizens’ constitutional rights to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law, following the conclusion of due process.

This is a fundamental pillar of our democratic society that seems to have evaded the PSC and other rabid, prejudiced or biased elements, who have since publicly associated themselves with the PSC demands,” the union added.

The PSC came in for sharp criticism for publicly suggesting that the officers should be dismissed or suspended because they have been charged. The union describes that business organisation’s stance as presumptuous, unacceptable and out of place interference.

GECOM’s officials before the court are Chief Election Officer  Keith Lowenfield, Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, Registration Officer Sheffern February and Information Technology Officer Enrique Livan.