GECOM reforms unlikely for 2020 elections – AFC

first_imgFollowing numerous and repeated recommendations from election observer groups over the years for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to undergo reforms, the Alliance For Change (AFC) has stated that these transformations will not be likely before the 2020 General and Regional Elections.This was disclosed by the party’s General Secretary David Patterson, who told reporters at a press conference on Friday that while GECOM reforms is high on the AFC’s priority list, it is unlikely that this will be done in time for the country’s next national elections.“It is quite high (on the priority list) but to get there before 2020… As a party, we do know that we will be part of the Government from 2020 going on… so therefore we have talked and I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I know coming up to elections, what areas we have to look at not only politically but administratively and legislatively to strengthen the hand of the AFC either singly or in a coalition or shared governance – whatever format – and that’s what is driving our priorities,” Patterson stated.For decades now, Elections Observer Groups both internationally and regionally have been insisting that while GECOM’s purpose for existence is to administer free and fair electoral processes, Guyana should consider reforms that would reduce or eliminate the politicised composition of election bodies in order to ensure independence and impartiality.However, while the AFC recognised the need to end the practice of having political appointees as members of GECOM, the party’s General Secretary admitted on Friday to reporters that little has been done to bring the matter up for discussion with its coalition partner – A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).Patterson explained that this is so because the AFC has as priority issues such as Constitution reforms, campaign financing legislations and corruption matters on its agenda.He said, “It is not one of the topics that have arisen at the moment so far… We don’t want to move anything to displace our priority which is constitutional reform. We have a massive list of things to discuss which we go down sequentially. (The list of things) is getting longer everyday to discuss with our coalition partner but there are certain things which we are mandated to do by our members and constitutional reforms and campaign financing and corruption issues and things like that are high on the agenda,” the General Secretary said, while adding that the AFC will eventually get to the reforming of GECOM.Currently, the elections oversight body comprised using the Carter Centre model that was introduced for the 1992 elections. This model provides for three members each from Government and Opposition and the Chairman appointed by the President from a list of names submitted to him by the Opposition, a process which many say have since exhausted its usefulness.To this end, Patterson outlined that the AFC believes there should be more civil society involvement in GECOM. In fact, he recalled that his party has recommended that the seven-member commission be replaced with a 10-member body, three of whom will be representatives from political parties and the remaining members from civil society.“We have been on record and we reduced the Government and Opposition’s participation to a third and rest must be made up of civilians,” he stated, while noting that such a model has been adopted by Jamaica and is proving to be successful.AFC General SecretaryDavid Pattersonlast_img read more

Man wielding hatchet is arrested

first_imgA man was arrested last night after he attacked a car with a hatchet in Letterkenny.The man caused damage to the car which was parked at Castle Street, close to St Eunan’s Cathedral. The incident happened just before 7pm.Gardai were alerted to the incident and arrested the man.He was taken to Letterkenny Garda station and was later charged with criminal damage.He is to appear before Letterkenny District Court in the coming weeks.Nobody was hurt in the attack but damage was caused to the car.Gardai say they do not yet know the motive behind the attack.Man wielding hatchet is arrested was last modified: April 21st, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:attackdonegalGardaiHatchetletterkennylast_img read more