The Guyana Elections Commission yesterday commenced the distribution of the new Identification Cards but it was restricted to Region Four.
According to a well placed official, the decision was taken to commence the distribution process given that Region Four has the highest concentration of people.
The official explained that the cards are being produced in phased manner. The new cards could be uplifted at the temporary locations established throughout the region.
This will continue until December 31, at which point in time the cards will only be distributed at the permanent locations.
The cards will be distributed until the day before local Government Elections after which there will be a temporary cessation to facilitate the elections after which it will recommence.
Citizens are being asked to walk with their pink slip to uplift their cards as this will facilitate speedier processing.
Should a citizen not be in possession of the pink slip there are mechanisms in place to allow for the uplifting of the new ID cards.
The production of the close to 500,000 new cards commenced on October 26 last.
As the possible date for Local Government Elections looms, an estimated 30,000 persons have not been registered because they did not have source documents, said Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr Steve Surujbally, recently.
He said that the commission is hoping that elections, which have been pushed back by a further six months, could be held by March 29, 2010.
The official yesterday called on unregistered persons to get their birth certificates or passports and use the Claims and Objections period leading up to the elections to have one last opportunity to be registered.
According to Dr Surujbally, with a policy in place that disallows Justice of Peace and Toshaos, among others, from vouching for persons without birth certificates and passports, the onus is now on applicants to ensure that they apply for these documents since when the time for claims and objections would have passed, no cards would be issued.
Meanwhile, Registration Officers (RO) across the country also met yesterday to discuss their roles.
According to a statement from GECOM, the two-day key meetings started yesterday at the Umana Yana, Kingston, Registration officers from all of the 23 GECOM Registration Offices across Guyana were present.
They were brought “up to date with the preparations for the conduct of Local Government Elections, and made to 1(concentrate on) the nature of their associated roles and responsibilities,” GECOM explained.
The meeting was also to provide adequate guidance and to obtain feedback pertaining to the role of Registration Officers preparations for the conduct of elections.
The GECOM officers will also be deliberating on and bringing “administrative closure to all issues connected with demarcation of boundaries for the constituencies within the respective Local Government Areas.”
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