Govt sees benefits of seven member elections commission after after 2020 election experience

The PPP/C led administration maybe considering endorsing the Carter/Pryce formula that resulted in the constitutionally enshrined roles of the seven persons Guyana Elections Commission. On Friday, Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo said that it was that seven person commission with nominations from the government and opposition and a chairperson nominated by the Opposition Leader that ensured the 2020 General and Regional Elections were not “rigged.”

Given the experience recently of what took place at GECOM, I think there is a big reconsideration of this view, because what happened at GECOM, it was the technical body, the machinery that tried to rig the elections on behalf of APNU/AFC, the Chief Elections Officer, the Deputy Chief Elections Officer and Mr Mingo, and so, had it not been for it been for a commission of the type enshrined in the constitution, we would have probably had a result different from what we had,” Jagdeo told the media.

Several international observe missions have recommended in their various reports on different elections, that the commission in its current form be dismantled and that another system be considered.

Meanwhile, the government will be tabling amendments to Representation of the People Act, Jagdeo said, “the idea is to make more transparent and to define responsibilities in the act that are un-ambiguous and thirdly to put in place a set of penalties for people who transgress and try to steal elections,” Jagdeo said.

The Vice President said a draft bill should be ready at the end of June, “then that draft would be sent to the international community, all the political parties in Guyana, the civil society and will be up on the website and GECOM too, and then people would have three months in Guyana to give their input.”

The amendments to this bill is expected to to address issues “right from registration right to declaration of the results.”