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Gov’t seeks Canada’s help in electoral reform

The Government of Guyana is seeking the assistance of the Canadian Government to help reform its electoral legislation, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall has said.

The Attorney General said Tuesday that electoral reform will ensure the tragedy which unfolded after the March 2 General and Regional Elections never recurs.

Speaking on his weekly live Facebook programme “Issues in the News,” AG Nandlall said he has already raised the issue with Canada’s High Commissioner Ms. Lilian Chatterjee, for experts to assist Guyana in this process.

“The Government has committed to looking at the Representation of the People Act (RPA) and other pieces of legislations to reform them to cover all the loopholes that have been exploited by the political fraudsters after the elections,” he said.  

Among the proposed reforms, the AG said, is ensuring that Statements of Poll (SOPs) are published by the respective political parties on a website and made public within hours of receipt. Efforts will also be made to ensure oversight mechanisms are in place to scrutinise the work of the Returning Officers (RO), thereby guarding against the declaration of false results by rogue officers.

The proposals also include a system where employment procedures and practices are used to ensure the best candidates are selected to work at elections, and to also have fixed qualifications, character references and testimonials for those officials.

It is also seeking to ensure that there is a heavy penal system accompanying electoral offences that will deter any official from doing wrong during the elections.

“All these matters are under review by my Ministry and I need as much technical assistance that I can get and Canada has rendered significant support to our electoral process over the past few years. The High Commissioner indicated her Government’s commitment to assist us in that regard,” AG Nandlall said.  

Canada had been very vocal during Guyana’s electoral dispute, joining with other ABC countries in condemning the former APNU+AFC administration for attempting to derail the country’s democracy.  

The former Government was accused of holding on to power when it was clear it had lost the elections.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General commended the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for what he said is its professional approach to the ongoing investigation into the protracted period following the March 2 elections.

Several high-level Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have been charged. The AG said more criminal charges will be instituted against suspects.

The AG underscored that the PPP/C administration is not involved in the investigations, but the GPF is being guided by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP).

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Canada should send a team of specialists to Guyana to facilitate the restructuring of GECOM.  The staff should also be comprised of people from the smaller parties and not the PNC or PPP or the AFC.

UNDP offers help on electoral reform – AG’s Chambers

October 15 ,2020

Source

UNDP Resident Representative Jairo Valverde (left) with Attorney General Anil Nandlall yesterday. (Attorney General’s Chambers photo)

UNDP Resident Representative Jairo Valverde (left) with Attorney General Anil Nandlall yesterday. (Attorney General’s Chambers photo)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has offered to assist Guyana with electoral reform, according to a statement yesterday from the AG’s Chambers.

A release from the AG’s Chambers said that  Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs,  Anil Nandlall yesterday met with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative,  Jairo Valverde at which this and other matters were discussed.

The release said that Valverde commended President Irfaan Ali for committing to establishing a Commission of Inquiry (COI) to examine and investigate the events following the 2nd March, 2020, elections in Guyana and offered to provide technical help and support to implement the recommendations for improvement and changes that would be made to the electoral process after the conclusion of COI.

Nandlall thanked the UNDP for its assistance over the years to strengthening the rule of law here.

Nandlall, the release said, highlighted a number of projects that the Government of Guyana will be initiating, a component of which is to make Guyana the arbitration centre for CARICOM and Latin America as well as Constitutional Reform to strengthen Guyana’s democratic system. These projects, the Minister said, could be accomplished with technical support from the UNDP through training, public awareness and the review of Guyana’s legislative framework.

Adverting to constitutional reform which the release said has garnered much attention as a result of the events following the no-confidence motion in 2018 and the 2nd March, 2020 general elections,   the Minister emphasised that while constitutional reform is needed, constitutional compliance is equally important.

“One can have the best Constitution in the World, but if politicians blatantly refuse to comply with it then society becomes dysfunctional,” the Attorney General added in the release.

Valverde said that the UNDP has in excess of 8,000 technical persons deployed across the world assisting various governments in electoral reform and other areas. He stated, according to the release, that the UNDP is as a result willing and capable of providing any assistance that the Government of Guyana would require, upon request.

@Nehru posted:

GREAT WORK BY THE great Mr Nandalall and the PPP.

Good thing PPP won cause all we would have gotten is Nuff Child Mothers and Backballing!!!

You should have respect for your fellow Guyanese citizens. Why indoes suh vengeful. Yuh country sweet like sommutu can become sour if Granger call out the army.

The constitution will never be changed by the PPP, their intent is to marginalize the PNC.

Nandalall waisting his time. The PPP should develop GECOM, state of the art. Those who work there will have PRIDE, they will see a country moving forward. Instead of the present dump of GECOM existence.

The PPP likes to keep things dilapidated, poor ppl housing, housing development, seawall and in general all infrastructures.

Talking bout blackman cannot run a cakeshop, all the PPP can do is to operate a cakeshop. Intelligent Blacks and Indians are marginalized by PPP and PNC idiots. Your Backdam houses some real assinine anti-black comments.

How D2 put up wid it.

@seignet posted:

You should have respect for your fellow Guyanese citizens. Why indoes suh vengeful. Yuh country sweet like sommutu can become sour if Granger call out the army.

The constitution will never be changed by the PPP, their intent is to marginalize the PNC.

Nandalall waisting his time. The PPP should develop GECOM, state of the art. Those who work there will have PRIDE, they will see a country moving forward. Instead of the present dump of GECOM existence.

The PPP likes to keep things dilapidated, poor ppl housing, housing development, seawall and in general all infrastructures.

Talking bout blackman cannot run a cakeshop, all the PPP can do is to operate a cakeshop. Intelligent Blacks and Indians are marginalized by PPP and PNC idiots. Your Backdam houses some real assinine anti-black comments.

How D2 put up wid it.

The same way the PNC marginalized and starved the coolies from 1964-1991 and 2015-2020.

@skeldon_man posted:

The same way the PNC marginalized and starved the coolies from 1964-1991 and 2015-2020.

Well, I am constantly told of the kindness and acute intelligence of the Indian race of ppl. Surely, they can be forgiving, considering the Blackman ain leaving Guyana. If dey tek up wid Indian women or as the 1838 Indian men tek up wid the negresses of the period bringing in the first Dougla ppl. Once yuh get Black in you, you always would be Black in thinking. Suh, coolie ppl in Guyana done for, only blacks will be Guyanese citizens.

1964-1991, Indians were innovative and entreperneurial. Many became wealthy and the PPP NV dem.

2015-2020, Granger had a chance to seize the country for Black ppl and spare dem cooolie ppl insults. That dunce skont permitted the USA to change his mind. 

@seignet posted:

Well, I am constantly told of the kindness and acute intelligence of the Indian race of ppl. Surely, they can be forgiving, considering the Blackman ain leaving Guyana. If dey tek up wid Indian women or as the 1838 Indian men tek up wid the negresses of the period bringing in the first Dougla ppl. Once yuh get Black in you, you always would be Black in thinking. Suh, coolie ppl in Guyana done for, only blacks will be Guyanese citizens.

1964-1991, Indians were innovative and entreperneurial. Many became wealthy and the PPP NV dem.

2015-2020, Granger had a chance to seize the country for Black ppl and spare dem cooolie ppl insults. That dunce skont permitted the USA to change his mind.

To use your language , the above is sheer SKONT. It takes a Black to post such nonsense.

@Django posted:

Very true !!!!

The whole world was watching the riggers. The gun was pointed at their heads to come clean, or else Guyana would have been another Grenada. Common sense prevailed. The US ambassador in Guyana is not Ronald Bullen; she is Sarah Lynch. Why Granger did not call out the GDF? He knew his ass would be a goner along with the whole PNC and GDF clan.

Proportional Representation is the most democratic electoral system in the world.  There are variations of it and that's where the experts should be looking for alternatives.  The first past the post system can result in undemocratic outcomes.  For example, Trump won with less votes than Hillary Clinton and Trudeau won with less votes than Scheer.  Trudeau won reelection with 33% of the popular vote. 

Perhaps, United Kingdom/Britain is wandering in the "back lands" with first-past-the-poll system while it imposed proportional representation - PR - on Guyana since 1964.

Last edited by Demerara_Guy
@skeldon_man posted:

The whole world was watching the riggers. The gun was pointed at their heads to come clean, or else Guyana would have been another Grenada. Common sense prevailed. The US ambassador in Guyana is not Ronald Bullen; she is Sarah Lynch. Why Granger did not call out the GDF? He knew his ass would be a goner along with the whole PNC and GDF clan.

He is going to call out his kith and kin. Before, would have been disastrous because he would thwarted democracy.

The PPP keep persecuting Black ppl, Indians going cry dearly.

All the big mouth, foul mouth beast goan be crying.

Perhaps, United Kingdom/Britain is wandering in the "back lands" with first-past-the-poll system while it imposed proportional representation - PR - on Guyana since 1964.

The UK did not impose PR on Guyana.  All the major parties in Guyana, including the PPP, agreed to it.  That Duncan Sandys imposed PR on Guyana is a misconception.  PR is the only system that can guarantee one person one vote and that is the essence of democracy.  Cheddi knew that and that is why he agreed to let Sandys change the electoral system.

@Totaram posted:

The UK did not impose PR on Guyana.  All the major parties in Guyana, including the PPP, agreed to it.  That Duncan Sandys imposed PR on Guyana is a misconception.  PR is the only system that can guarantee one person one vote and that is the essence of democracy.  Cheddi knew that and that is why he agreed to let Sandys change the electoral system.

CBJ signed a blank paper. Fenton wanted to his azz. Duncan, juss put ink on the Blank paper with PR. It was a scheme hatched by the Americans to put an end to Cheddie, for lil while.

Perhaps, United Kingdom/Britain is wandering in the "back lands" with first-past-the-poll system while it imposed proportional representation - PR - on Guyana since 1964.

@Totaram posted:

The UK did not impose PR on Guyana.

All the major parties in Guyana, including the PPP, agreed to it.  That Duncan Sandys imposed PR on Guyana is a misconception.  PR is the only system that can guarantee one person one vote and that is the essence of democracy.  Cheddi knew that and that is why he agreed to let Sandys change the electoral system.

One of the sources on Proportional Representation in Guyana.

British Guiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Guiana

From 1962 to 1964, riots, strikes and other disturbances stemming from racial, social and economic conflicts delayed full independence for British Guiana. The leaders of the political parties reported to the British Colonial Secretary that they were unable to reach agreement on the remaining details of forming an independent government. The British Colonial Office intervened by imposing its own independence plan, in part requiring another election under a new proportional representation system. Britain expected that this system would reduce the number of seats won by the PPP and prevent it from obtaining a majority.

Source & rest of article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Guiana

Last edited by Demerara_Guy

One of the sources on Proportional Representation in Guyana.

British Guiana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - Source - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Guiana

From 1962 to 1964, riots, strikes and other disturbances stemming from racial, social and economic conflicts delayed full independence for British Guiana. The leaders of the political parties reported to the British Colonial Secretary that they were unable to reach agreement on the remaining details of forming an independent government. The British Colonial Office intervened by imposing its own independence plan, in part requiring another election under a new proportional representation system. Britain expected that this system would reduce the number of seats won by the PPP and prevent it from obtaining a majority.

Source & rest of article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Guiana

Wikipedia is not a  reliable source.  Moreover, my source for what happened was very high ranking official of the PPP who was intimately involved in the talks that led to PR.  According to him, Cheddi made an executive decision on the agreement with Sandys.  In any case, it doesn't matter how it came about as PR is the most democratic electoral system in the world an should be retained in Guyana and adopted elsewhere.

@Totaram posted:

No, it did not.  The Guyanese leaders at the time agreed to it.

It was suggested and CBJ signed on it. Out of frustrations with the talks or sure of his victory once and for all. Fenton did not like the idea when told after an early morning meeting alone with Sandys, he signed at that meeting alone with no advisers.

@seignet posted:

It was suggested and CBJ signed on it. Out of frustrations with the talks or sure of his victory once and for all. Fenton did not like the idea when told after an early morning meeting alone with Sandys, he signed at that meeting alone with no advisers.

If he didn't, then British Guiana would not have been granted Independence. Jagan boycotted the Independence talks and Peter D'Guair represented the East Indians. You know the rest.

You also know about those PPP activists who tried to replace Jagan with Ramsahoye. The penalty was severe.

@Ramakant-P posted:

If he didn't, then British Guiana would not have been granted Independence.

Jagan boycotted the Independence talks and Peter D'Guair represented the East Indians. You know the rest.

You also know about those PPP activists who tried to replace Jagan with Ramsahoye. The penalty was severe.

From declassified documents ,the British was giving up the Colonies in the West Indies including Guyana , wanted to place the countries under good leadership.

Bottom line ....

Britain imposed Proportional Representation system in Guyana.

@Totaram posted:

No, it did not.  The Guyanese leaders at the time agreed to it.

Repeating yet again ...

Britain imposed Proportional Representation system in Guyana.

Succinctly ...

1. No agreement could be reached on the election process/system during the numerous meetings between the PPP, PNC and the United Force.

2. During the discussions the PPP suggested a system/model based on that in Suriname which has a combination of first past the post and a constituency model.

3. Consequently, it was then agreed for the British Government to arbitrate. The British Government then imposed the Proportional Representation - PR - system for elections in Guyana.

Repeating yet again ...

Britain imposed Proportional Representation system in Guyana.

Succinctly ...

1. No agreement could be reached on the election process/system during the numerous meetings between the PPP, PNC and the United Force.

2. During the discussions the PPP suggested a system/model based on that in Suriname which has a combination of first past the post and a constituency model.

3. Consequently, it was then agreed for the British Government to arbitrate. The British Government then imposed the Proportional Representation - PR - system for elections in Guyana.

Britain never imposed PR system in Guyana. That's totally false.