Is GECOM intent on shifting the boundaries? (Pt 1)

first_imgDear Editor,The extremely sensitive issue of free and fair elections in Guyana has once again become the foremost concern of Guyanese citizens at home and across the Diaspora. Our acceptance, recognition, business with international institutions, partners and other countries, will also be significantly impacted, by the level of democratic image we portray.Negative intrusions of acceptable democratic standards as a global measure, must never be tolerated from any Government or force of power. The reasons are obvious since the ultimate result, is digression into a state of anarchy through warranted internal and external counter forces. Adherence to rule of law is intrinsic to prevention, and acceptance of its application vital. Trumped-up partisan interpretations when it solely suits the Government’s interests against the will of citizens, have to be vigorously guarded against. Shamelessly and unfortunately, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change Government has gone right up this alley.The situation of President Granger’s inappropriate handling of the selection of the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), sets up a most suspicious framework for the treatment and acceptance of results regarding future elections under the current structure. Obviously, the performance of the organisation and role of its Chairman, must and will justifiably, be given the highest level of scrutiny.As we approach the first elections under the enforced chairman of GECOM, all must be cognisant that allowance of due process is not surrender to the authoritative imposition of the Government.Rather, it reflects an acknowledgement of certain counter-checks in the legal electoral system that will be depended upon. GECOM operations have not been without fault and the Commission’s obligation to correct outstanding anomalies is expected to be systematically advance in a transparent way. It is of note that nothing much or corrective have come from the Commission, and there are significant concerns that must be highlighted.The administrators of GECOM must move to get the required deliveries of the institution right, and ensure acceptability through transparent mechanisms. The organisations’ most recent public activity was another cycle of continuous registration. This, according to Minister Ronald Bulkan, is part of preparations for Local Government Elections to be held during late 2018. However, there are already observed stumbles which demand clarifications.These concern serious questions asked by many with respect to the Official List of Electors (OLE) that the entity has circulated for political parties to validate in their house to house verification of the persons included. Notably, the unresolved issue of boundaries in some Local Authority Areas (LAAs) has been problematic, as these would have been responsible for confusion and ties at the last Local Government Elections. However, instead of providing clarifications regarding the tenuous situation, the GECOM OLE (dated Friday, June 30, 2017), creates a further and wider conundrum.Reference is made to the fact that this GECOM OLE; misrepresents the actual constituencies where voters reside, by use of descriptions of the Sub-Divisions. An example includes the case of the Eccles Ramsburg LAA where the E List (412234), now includes numerous names of persons residing in other constituency sub-divisions that does not fit the stated description of the Sub-Division on this list. This would have resulted in changing the content of other lists in the LAA. Is GECOM intent on shifting the boundaries or deliberately confusing the situation at the LGE?Sincerely,Neil Kumarlast_img read more

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Go back to the enewsletter Visit USA held its ann

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterVisit USA held its annual USA Travel Week starting with its highly anticipated travel agent evenings in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney last week. This was followed by its business to business networking afternoon, organised with and sponsored by Brand USA, and its annual general meeting (AGM). The week concluded with its first international media marketplace (IMM) – a day-long event coordinated by TravMedia and co-sponsored by Brand USA and United Airlines. The IMM replaced Visit USA’s annual media networking lunch.After a warm welcome from US Consul General Hugo Llorens, over 1200 meetings and negotiations were held between 38 key Australian and New Zealand wholesalers and tour operators and 65 Visit USA associate members during the B2B event.Visit USA welcomed over 900 travel agents to its Travel Agent Expos held in Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney last week with this year’s successful agent evenings surpassing previous years’ attendance and interaction, especially in Melbourne and Brisbane.“We are delighted at this year’s attendance at Visit USA’s Expos,” said Kylee Kay, Visit USA President. “Agents were able to learn about the growth in travel to the USA, what’s new for 2016, updates on hotels and attractions and have fun throughout the evening.“The anecdotal feedback we’ve already received indicates our members were elated with results from the USA Travel Week 2016 and feel they received the full benefit of their membership,” continued Kay. “They are predicting a productive year for 2016 with positive increases for Aussies travelling to the States.”last_img read more

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