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Puzzlement and disappointment over Chair’s inaction

Puzzlement and disappointment over Chair’s inaction

Dear Editor,
People I spoke with are very disappointed and puzzled at the behaviour of the Chair in not making a declaration of the election results on Monday or Tuesday when an opportunity availed itself. While praising her decision to set aside (nullify) the March 13 count that was kept in abeyance, many are asking what is preventing the Chair from acting expeditiously in declaring the result. They cannot comprehend her inaction on the long-delayed process. There are no more obstacles as the highest court instructed GECOM to proceed with a declaration. And opportunities are provided for further court action even before a declaration is made. A declaration is long overdue and once it is done, aggrieved parties can proceed with an election petition as ruled by the CCJ.

Guyanese say the Chair should not have given the CEO, Lowenfield, another opportunity to prepare the declaration of final results. He had three opportunities and he failed to comply with them. “Three strikes” and you are out. GECOM is empowered to discipline him (terminate him for insubordination) and assign another person to prepare the final declaration. Someone who is not partisan should be appointed in his place to carry out the task; lawyers believe GECOM is empowered to replace a defiant Lowenfield.

Guyanese also said that since the Chair set aside the March 13 fraudulent count and she instructed the CEO to use the recount votes to prepare the declaration, there was no need to adjourn the meeting on Monday, giving him 24 hours for a simple task that would hardly take an hour with oversight. The CEO could have been given a reasonable amount of time, say two hours, to prepare the declaration and it could have been completed by the evening on Monday. Many Guyanese believe a twelve-year-old could have done the math within an hour. At any rate, Lowenfield failed to comply with the instruction to prepare the report even after being given 24 hours. He is defying the Chair’s authority. And he is undermining democracy. He must be disciplined and replaced by a fair-minded objective neutral person to carry out the act.

The Chair should take cognisance of what is being said about her for a non-declaration on social media and among Guyanese I conversed with in the diaspora as well as in the country. People are losing respect and admiration of the woman they once called the Iron Lady and as the person who would courageously stand up for principle and an accurate vote count. Now, many Guyanese are having a field day of sarcastic remarks. The Chair must act decisively to protect her reputation.

Guyanese are very tired and frustrated by the stalemate. They urgently want an end to the process. Madame Chair, the court has not blocked a declaration. There is no injunction. The CCJ has already ruled on this issue. You already announced the numbers a month ago, right after the recount. The CEO again failed to comply with your order on Tuesday. Guyanese believe you can proceed with the declaration through another person if the CEO refuses to comply with the order on Wednesday. And the High Court is not stopping you from making a declaration.

Yours truly,
Vishnu Bisram

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