GECOM continues to bungle with ID cards!

first_imgClaims and Objections held over the last three months, hundreds of persons made applications at GECOM offices around the country for changes to and replacements of lost identification (ID) cards. The feedback provided confirms that they are getting the royal run-around in uplifting the new ID cards. Albeit the existing period of preparations for General and Regional Elections, the Secretariat continues the saga of unreliable response which contributed to many persons not uplifting the ID cards over the years. The GECOM procedure necessitated the thousands of applicants who went and completed their transactions to support their requested Claims on the application forms, with properly authenticated reputable Justices of the Peace stamps of affirmation. The attending staff at these offices informed applicants that GECOM would call them within two to three weeks, for them to uplift their ID cards. The GECOM Secretariat has failed once again to deliver many ID cards in a timely manner after they duped persons to register and promise them new ID cards. Over the past months since the successful passing of the No-Confidence Motion on December 21, 2018, the challenge for a delivery of free and fair elections by GECOM has been facing its strongest test. The Chief Elections Officer, who has functional responsibility for the Secretariat, adopted a posture of a ‘yes man’ to the whims and fancy to the Government Commissioners. Mr Lowenfield has undertaken contemptuous actions to the rulings of the highest judicial institutions including the Caribbean Court of Justice. Included are the PNC/ APNU Commissioners’ deliberate illegal advocacy for the removal of the names of registered persons who have not uplifted ID cards from the Official List of Voters. Additionally, the commencement of the House-to-House (H2H) Registration in the absence of a Chairman of GECOM, which now creates a nest of disputable circumstances with persons on that list. Whenever a cycle of House-to-House (H2H) Registration is undertaken, the intent is for the preparation of a new Register of Registrants and the discarding of all other registers. The undertaking of such an exercise was irrational given the legally used mechanism for the upkeep of the National Register of Registrants with which there were no major issues. It means that at the end of the process, GECOM would issue all registrants new ID cards. Guyanese are thankful for the halting of the process by newly appointed Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, which obviously would have taken years, and created another unconstitutional milieu. Citizens are now demanding the strongest sanctioning and investigation of the affront created under the hands of Mr Lowenfield, regarding accountability for the millions of dollars spent on the controversial/truncated H2H Registration. Further, our people are again having to spend hard-earned money to visit GECOM, and they are being pushed around without receiving their ID cards. Obviously, all the talks and discussions on the controversial, truncated, unverified so-called results of the H2H Registration is now a matter of serious concerns. Clearly, it came because of the sinister orchestration between the PNC, their agent, the unfit unilaterally appointed Patterson and questionable Keith Lowenfield. The Claims and Objections time is over, and a big part of the questionable/truncated H2H Registration list is not being cross-matched and issued to the political parties. It is more serious that the second big half of the controversial H2H has not yet been posted up. Further, Guyanese are patiently awaiting the GECOM supplementary list, after the just-completed Claims and Objections. It is, therefore, imperative that GECOM moves to swiftly and forthwith, produce the Revised List of Electors. Practically, the publication of the list of registered persons from the truncated H2H without their previous ID card number where applicable is a total waste of money and time. All it did was to facilitate the delay of the overdue National and Regional Elections. We, therefore, ask the question; when will GECOM issue ID cards to all those persons who they took information from and promised ID cards? Moreover, what type of ID cards will GECOM issue? Citizens should recall that GECOM expended millions of dollars on cameras and on equipment to produce ID cards and apparently, they are doing nothing to improve efficacy. With GECOM’s automated system, ID cards’ changes and issues should have been possible within one day providing the necessary counter checks are in place. Again, because of GECOM’s demonstrated incompetence under Keith Lowenfield’s watch, thousands of persons are awaiting their promised ID cards. Madam Justice Claudette Singh, you must assertively deal with the new ID card scenario that is unfolding. I wish to remind Mr Vincent Alexander that the ID cards that were not collected, the residents were all verified by GECOM, in conjunction with scrutineers from the major political parties before the preparation of the ID cards. This is contrary to Lowenfield’s partisan H2H in which he did not invite scrutineers from the PPP/C. Further, Alexander must know that GECOM does not have to adjust their directory, but they have to update their Register of Registrants. As this nation awaits the results of the thousands of names sent overseas by GECOM for cross-matching after the truncated H2H Registration, a clear case for setting aside all aspects of everything done during that H2H registration emerge. Careful scrutiny of the ‘part-information’ political parties received is quite a revelation. Spelling mistakes, wrong addresses, duplications, and worst of all, hundreds of persons who registered during the controversial H2H, correctly corrected their registered position during the Claims and Objections as they sought transfers, newly registered and did other transactions. Therefore, there are people whose names were not on the PLE and their names are on the truncated H2H list. It would be unthinkable for GECOM to utilise the H2H information and place the same in the Revised List of Electors because the H2H Registration remains unverified. Clearly, GECOM has to say how the cross-matching will eliminate these issues including persons who have changed their names and applied for new ID cards. The Secretariat needs to pronounce on all these matters and stop the bungling. GECOM is in a colossal dilemma all because of Lowenfield and the determination of Mr Granger and his cabal Commissioners to postpone and delay elections, in which the APNU/AFC are afraid to contest. Sincerely, Neil Kumarlast_img

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