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Jul 3, 2018

PUP Speaks on Elections and Boundaries Commission

Henry Charles Usher Jr.

A resolution to appoint four members to the Election and Boundaries Commission will be tabled before the Senate on Thursday, almost a week after the re-registration exercise commenced. The four persons to be appointed are Phillipa Griffith Bailey and Naima Barrow of the U.D.P. and Orlando Espat and Magali Marin of the P.U.P.   But the P.U.P. is registering its discontent over the delay in the appointment of the commissioners.  Usher says that not only is the commission politically bias, but that Chairman Doug Singh is not fulfilling his responsibilities.

 

Henry Charles Usher, Chairman, P.U.P.

“We are not happy however that his process started without the Elections and Boundaries Commission being sworn in. We heard the news last night that there will be a special meeting of the Senate to approve the member so the commission. We find it wholly unsatisfactorily that this commission has not been approved, has not been sworn in even though we have named our commissioners all the way back in April. As you all may know the Elections and Boundaries Commission term expired at the end of April and before that expiration we named our commissioner so there is no reason why this commission could not have been sworn in before. We also find that the commission as a whole, the chairman of the commission has not really been carrying out his office effectively. We cannot recall getting any reports from the commission as required. Since 2010 I believe or at least for the last few years we have not gotten any reports from the Elections and Boundaries Commission. In fact as far as we know the last meeting of the Elections and Boundaries Commission was before the municipal elections in January. So as I said we are unsatisfied that the commission is not in place before the start of the re-registration exercise. And we hope that the swearing in can happen quickly after the Senate meeting on Thursday. We feel that the UDP has politicized that office when it should really be an impartial office. This is the commission directing the elections and the democratic process in the country. Right now I think one of their commissioners is their secretary general, a party employee, a party official.”

 

Reporter

“Will the PUP do anything about it? Can the PUP do anything about it?”

 

Henry Charles Usher

“Well the parties name their commissioners and the Senate approves it. So it will be up to the Senators to raise that issue but there is not much we can do to stop them from naming the persons. We just feel that the position should be impartial.  I believe that you cannot set policy without having the commission in place. How can one person, the Chairman of the commission Mr. Doug Singh, be in charge of setting policy? Yes it is true that the Chief Election Officer carries out the day to day workings of the office and so on and the policies that are set by the commission. But they have not met since January and there are big issues happening in this country.”

 

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