Last Updated on Thursday, 9 December 2021, 11:28 by Denis Chabrol
Chief Election Officer for the People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) upcoming congressional elections for a new leader and 15-member executive has recommended that voting be pushed back by one week to December 18, but a number of executives prefer December 19 due to Christmas shopping.
“With those documents and information at my disposal and the knowledge of what is necessary for the successful holding of the elections on December 11, 2021, I have come to the conclusion that pertinent materials are still not available,” he said. He also added that, “I cannot recommend nor undertake the holding of the elections on December 11, 2021, notwithstanding the herculean efforts of the organizers. May I however hasten to advise that the elections can be held on December 18, 2021″ if those responsible stick to his recommended time table.
However, high-level sources said that the Central Executive Committee was Thursday morning deliberating on the implications of Mr. Alexander’s missive and many of them prefer voting to be held on Sunday because Saturday might be set aside largely for Christmas shopping. “They are looking at the fact that its Christmas and people are usually busy on Saturday,” the source said.
Originally, Congress is scheduled to be held on December 11 but Mr. Alexander, in his letter to the Central Executive, said there were a number of shortcomings to meet that deadline. Instead, he said said the December 19 deadline could only be met if the candidates are consulted by December 12, arrangements are put in place for polling day officials to be briefed and that they have mobile phones and data to dispatch the results from the decentralised polling places in the 10 administrative regions. Mr. Alexander, who is a former PNCR executive member, also recommended that the voters’ lists and ballot papers be available by next week Wednesday and sent along with other related materials to the various polling places from Thursday to Friday.
This is the first time that a congress would be held virtually and more so voting would be done in the regions due to the need to restrict the gathering of large numbers of persons because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Alexander based his recommendations on a number of reasons including the fact that that the preparation of voters’ lists and ballot papers are still being done. He cautioned against they being made available within 24 hours because more time is needed for them to be sent to polling places.
Those vying for the top post of leader are Aubrey Norton, Joseph Harmon, Dr Richard Vanwest Charles and Basil Williams. Sources have told Demerara Waves Online News that Mr Carl Greenidge, who had been nominated for the post of leader, has not been contacted to afford him an opportunity to decline or accept.