The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is not interested in demands for a new round of continuous registration and shunned the idea of new house to house registration. In answering complaints and demands made pre-dominantly by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Chairman of the Elections Commission Dr. Steve Surubjally noted that he will not be a “protagonist,” to such ideas, but suggested that matters concerning the election process be sorted out.
General Election is looming following an opposition proposed No Confidence Motion against the current Administration. The governing PPP has claimed faults with the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) and has called for a fresh round of continuous registration to ensure the integrity of the Voters’ List. Surujbally noted that one media house even spoke about new house to house registration, but suggested that such activities will go into billions of dollars. “It is not cheap,” he said, “that is why we have it every 10 years.”
“Don’t belabor people and the taxpayers with more money,” Surubally told a room of Journalists and Diplomats during a press conference at Cara Lodge last week. “Our list is near perfect. We have international best practice in every system that we do. What is not international best practice, we can improve upon it,” he emphasized.
Additionally, Elections Commissioner, Vincent Alexander suggested that it is contradictory that the PPP should push for a new round of continuous registration and at the same time complain about the emergence of 78,000 new registrants on the PLE.
He said that, “there is an inherent contradiction in the claim that the list is bloated- that you have between the last election and this PLE, 87,000 –an unusual number-, and at the same time to ask for a new round of continuous registration which can only add to that number.”
GECOM said there is an increase of 87,295 electors in the 2014 Preliminary Voters’ List compared to 2011 and this is according to the number of electors who now qualify to be included in the PLE. The National Register of Registrants includes persons 14 years and older and when they attain voting age, they are included in the PLE.
While the PPP had also expressed concerns about numerous deceased persons being on the PLE, the GECOM Chairman said that there are numerous measures in place to endure that no one votes in place of the deceased. This is also ensured by party representatives who scrutinize the process.
Since January 2008 to April 2014, the names of 12,404 dead persons have been removed from the voters’ list. The preliminary voters’ list currently holds the names of 555,398 persons.
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