GEORGETOWN. Guyana, August 28, 2019 (CMC) – The main opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), says the planned merger of data from the house-to-house registration of voters will not improve the quality or “credibility” of the database, but rather, will further contaminate the National Register of Registrants (NRRDB) and cause further delays in the holding of elections in Guyana.
Yesterday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) announced that the house-to house registration exercise will come to an end on Saturday as the country prepares for fresh regional and general election as mandated by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).
Newly-appointed GECOM chairperson, retired justice Claudette Singh, who made the announcement, said that based on the ruling of the High Court on August 14, that the house to house registration was neither unlawful nor unconstitutional, and the data, garnered from that registration exercise, must be merged with the existing NRRDB.
GECOM said that cognizant of all that has transpired over the past months, it has an obligation to produce a credible Official List of Electors (OLE) in the first instance and ultimately credible elections within the shortest possible time.
The Commission added that it would also be moving to have an extensive Claims and Objections period, before extracting the preliminary list of electors.
But in a statement, the PPP/C, which has been calling for elections to be held in October, said that it has taken note of “the belated decision of the Guyana Elections Commission to discontinue house-to-house registration on August 31”.
The party noted that the registration exercise, “as conceived by GECOM to create a new National Register of Registrants, by removing names of eligible voters, has been deemed unconstitutional by the High Court”.
It quoted what it said were sections of the ruling of Chief Justice, Roxanne George-Wiltshire, noting that “for weeks now, the party’s general secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, has said that house-to-house registration, in addition to being a waste of taxpayers’ resources, was intended to delay the holding of general and regional Elections, which should have been held since March 21, 2019”.
Further, the PPP/C said it is “of the view that the decision, made by GECOM on Tuesday, is the only logical decision that could have been made”, even as it noted “several misleading positions that were communicated to the Guyanese people” by GECOM, aimed at “confusing the Guyanese electorate”.
“We reiterate the position of the PPP/C, which is that the planned merger of data from the house-to-house registration will not improve the quality or ‘credibility’ of the database – rather it will further contaminate the National Register of Registrants and cause further delays in the holding of Elections.
“That said, the party urges GECOM to move, decisively, by immediately launching a Claims and Objections exercise, which will allow those who are not on the National Register of Registrants and are eligible, to be properly registered,” the statement noted.