Dear Editor,

THE Guyana Elections Commission has noted with deep concern a letter authored by one Dr. Annie Baliram and published in the Guyana Times and Kaieteur News respectively on Wednesday, November20, 2019.

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Dr. Baliram, in her writing, sought to create an impression that GECOM cannot be trusted. Any right thinking person who reads the contents of that letter would therefore conclude that Annie Baliram herself cannot be trusted. While Dr. Baliram has the right to express her views openly, her articulation on any matter election related should be factual and not a set of sensational lines that attempts to discredit the work of the Guyana Elections Commission.

GECOM has no obligation to dance to the rhythm of a few, including Annie Baliram, with clandestine motives and mischievous agendas. The work of the Guyana Elections Commission is guided by the Constitution of Guyana, and all that is procedurally required for the conduct of free, fair and credible General and Regional Elections is guided by the Laws of Guyana. GECOM does not serve the interest of any one political party as Dr. Baliram suggests in her letter. This nation is guaranteed that free, fair and credible elections will be held on March 2, 2020.

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It is clear from the letter that Dr. Baliram does not really understand how elections are conducted and the multiple levels of safeguards in place, otherwise words such as ‘rigging’ would not even be part of her vocabulary. The credibility of GECOM to conduct free and fair elections was buttressed by the conduct of Local Government Elections 2018. I therefore wish to provide clarity for the readers, and Dr. Baliram in particular, so that in her awkward admiration of GECOM going forward, letters to the editor will be from an informed perspective.

This Commission does not function in chaos. GECOM cannot approve everyone who knocks without fully working through all the details. It would be reckless for GECOM to respond to the whims and fancies of every shout at this critical juncture and operationalise activities blindly. Editor, GECOM welcomes the presence of both local and international observers, advisors and technical officers.

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Dr. Baliram should interest herself in the constitutional provisions for accreditation of international and domestic observers. However, there are statutory procedures to be followed and timelines to be observed. To date, GECOM has taken every step to ensure that General and Regional Elections 2020 are transparent and credible. Justice Claudette Singh is competent enough to preside over an election, and will do so without fear or favour, affection or ill will.

Yours sincerely,
Yolanda Ward
Public Relations Officer Guyana Elections Commission

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