In less than eight weeks, Guyanese will be heading to the polls and in preparation for the upcoming March 2 General and Regional Elections, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is all set to host Nomination Day on Friday.GECOM PRO Yolanda Ward at the lunchtime lecture organised by the Guyana Press Association (GPA) on Tuesday at Moray HouseThis is according to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward, who delivered a presentation to members of the media on Tuesday, on the practices, procedures and laws relating to the conduct of Nomination Day.On that day, each party contesting the elections will have to submit their list of candidates for the election of a President, members of the National Assembly and members of the Regional Democratic Councils to the Chief Elections Officer.This will be done at the Umana Yana, High Street, Kingston, Georgetown on Friday from 13:00 to 17:00h.Moreover, the Nomination Day process began last month when political parties had to submit their party symbols to GECOM by December 13, 2019. This, Ward explained, was to allow the Commission to examine the symbols and give approval to avoid issues such as duplication. This way, parties will be informed of ahead of Nomination Day and will be able to make adjustments.However, she explained that parties are allowed also to submit their symbols on Nomination Day as well.GECOM had reported that 19 political parties have submitted symbols thus far and of these, 14 are new parties. While the two main political parties – the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) coalition – have been gearing up March 2 polls, there have been the formation of several new and small parties over the past months. As a matter of fact, so far, there have been 19 parties indicating interest in contending the upcoming elections.According to Ward, the law prescribed that the submissions of the lists of candidates will have to be done strictly on Nomination Day and within the timeframe set – no time earlier or later. She went on to explain how the lists are formed and who should be on each list.The GECOM PRO pointed out that all the lists must be registered electors. For the National Top-Up List, it should comprise of 300-330 nominators, 42 candidates (persons to be elected to sit in National Assembly) who all need a statutory declaration form in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths or Justice of Peace, and include the name of the Presidential Candidate.The Statutory Declaration form is what candidates sign to indicate that they are Guyanese and do not have dual citizenship. According to Ward, the onus is on the Candidates to be honest when they sign the statutory forms since the laws do not provide for false declarations made by candidates.Meanwhile, the Geographical Constituency (Administrative Regions) List must include 150-175 nominators from each constituency and no more than 45 candidates.It must be noted that parties are not mandated to contest both General and Regional Elections. Likewise, they are not mandated to contest in all 10 geographical constituencies but they must contest in at least six of those regions.With regards to the Regional Elections, the Regional Democratic Council List must comprise of 150-175 nominators for each constituency – all residing in the said region, and 12 to 36 candidates also from within the region. They too are required to sign a statutory form.Candidates and nominators can only appear on one party’s lists – both National Top-up and Geographical Constituency Lists – but only on one of that party’s geographical lists.Parties are also required to have one-third female presence on their National Top-Up List and same on the combined Geographical Constituency Lists in accordance with gender balance laws.These requirements, as well as others, will be examined by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield on Nomination Day and those parties whose lists, even one, do not meet all the requirements will be deemed defective.Parties will have 24 hours after Nomination Day to notify the CEO in writing of death and/or withdrawals of candidates and/or nominators. In addition, parties can also withdraw their lists but this will have to be done in writing by both the representative and deputy of the lists and before the lists are approved.On January 12, the CEO will inform the representative and/or deputies of the defective lists of same and they will have until the following day to make and submit the corrections.On January 15, the CEO will inform of the approval and/or non-approval of the lists by the Elections Commission. Parties will also have up until January 16 to make any appeals to the High Court based on the decisions of the Commission.Additionally, representatives and/or their deputies will have until January 17 to notify the CEO of any joiner of lists by two or more parties. Finally, on January 19, the titles and symbols of the approved lists of each party will be published in the gazette along with the names of the candidates.The CEO will make these lists available for public scrutiny.
Well known actor Gerard McSorley chats to a Garda as he left Letterkenny District Court. (NewspixIrl)Actor Gerard McSorley has been arrested and has appeared in court in Donegal today charged with a disturbance outside a B&B in Dublin.The Donegal-based star was fined €200 and warned to get treatment for his alcohol problems following the incident. The 63 year old star of many films including Veronica Guerin, Angela’s Ashes and Warhorse, appeared at Letterkenny District Court on foot of a bench warrant.McSorley was arrested by arrangement and brought before Judge Paul Kelly.The charge related to a disturbance outside a Bed and Breakfast on St Stephen’s Green at 2am on November 6th last.The actor had been given station bail but failed to appear before Judge Hugh O’Donnell on November 28th and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.Garda Rory Harrison, who arrested McSorley at his home at 1 Cul Na Toinne, Magheraclogher, Bunbeg gave details of the incident.He said Gardai had approached McSorley on the steps of a Bed and Breakfast following complaints that he was causing a disturbance.They warned him to stop but he continued to make desist and cause a disturbance and was eventually arrested under the Public Order Act.The actor appeared in court wearing jeans, a striped jumper and a fleece.He told the court that he did not have a solicitor but that he was pleading guilty to the charge.The court was told that McSorley, who is originally from Omagh in Co Tyrone, had a number of previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly and using threatening and abusive language.In 2001 at Kilmainham District Court, he was charged with impersonating a member of An Garda Siochana for which he was fined €50 and was also fined €200 for drink-driving on the same occasion.Judge Paul Kelly asked McSorley what he was doing to address his problems.The actor, who sat at the back of the court, stood up and spoke in a quiet voice.He told Judge Kelly that he had been receiving medical help for his condition.“I am doing everything I can to remedy this. I have spent the last five weeks in a psychiatric unit. I was released two weeks ago and I am under the care of doctors.“I’m going to AA meetings and I apologise to anybody I have hurt. This isn’t in my character to behave badly but with alcohol I have made mistakes.”Judge Kelly said the problem seems to stem from alcohol and those problems would continue unless he addressed them.“I am doing that now,” responded McSorley.The judge then warned him that if he accumulated similar convictions the courts would have no choice but to deal with him in a severe way.“On this occasion I will deal with it with a fine. Get your act together,” warned Judge Kelly.McSorley replied that it won’t happen again.He was fined €200 and was escorted back to his address in a Garda patrol car.He is due before the local courts again in June charged with careless driving.JUDGE WARNS DONEGAL-BASED STAR HE NEEDS HELP FOR HIS ALCOHOLISM was last modified: January 21st, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:AlcoholismGerard McSorleyJudge Paul KellyLetterkenny District CourtPublic Order Act