Last Updated on Thursday, 8 December 2022, 15:53 by Denis Chabrol
The seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Thursday effectively decided to push back the holding of Local Government Elections (LGE), commissioners said.
Nominations Day was scheduled for December 12 and the elections for the neighbourhood an town councils were slated for March 13, 2023.
However, GECOM Commissioners Vincent Alexander and Sase Gunraj said Nominations Day has been canceled.
No new date has been fixed and, according to Mr Alexander, the Commission has to decide on when corrections to the voters list would begin.”The process that the list will subjected to and the related time lines,” he said are issues to be resolved
Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud has recommended to GECOM Chairman Retired Justice Claudette Singh that 14 days be set aside for corrections to the lists in an effort to stave off a possible boycott of the polls by supporters of the main opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
While Mr Alexander said the Commission decided that the Local Government Minister could not demarcate boundaries, Mr Gunraj declined to immediately comment on discussions on that subject. “I’m distilling the boundaries ruling before commenting,” Mr Gunraj said.
Mr Alexander said GECOM decided that it is only that election management body that could demarcate boundaries. “It is GECOM’s function. If otherwise has been done, it is thanks and void. Where it is required, GECOM has to undertake that exercise,” he said.
Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall last month announced a few changes to constituency boundaries.
However, that appeared to have resulted in changes to the constituency residency of a number of electors that were not reflected in the lists of electors.
APNU+AFC has since moved to the court to challenge the role of the minister and the validity of the lists in relation to the new constituency boundaries.