The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has rejected calls for house-to-house verification, which came from the governing A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
If the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) undertakes house-to-house registration, it could likely delay the holding of Local Government Elections (LGE), which is scheduled by the end of this year.
The PPP described as desperate, the call by General Secretary of the People’s National Congress (PNC), Amna Ally.
“Having ignored our calls, the PNC, having completed almost three years in government, is now making calls for a new house-to-house registration,” the PPP stated.
The opposition reminded that after the 2015 General and Regional Elections, it called not only for a new house-to- house registration, but for electronic voting utilizing enhanced biometrics with a paper-ballot trail which could be audited.
The PPP suggested that the call from the government may be linked to the poor voter registration turn out thus far.
“After the completion of two cycles of continuous registration and two periods of claims and objections, the PNC has discovered the harsh reality that its supporters are not heeding their calls to register. This reluctance to engage in the process, is as a result of the despondency precipitated from the economic hardships that the PNC government continue to stack on the backs of Guyanese,” the PPP stated.
The Opposition noted that house-to-house registration is a meticulous process that necessitates a protracted time period for its completion and accuracy.
“Therefore, having realized that its support is diminishing, this desperate call for a new house-to-house registration by the PNC three years hence, can only be seen as a deliberate attempt to postpone or even derail Local Government Elections (LGE) scheduled for later this year and General and Regional Elections constitutionally due in 2020,” the PPP stated.
One of the tasks undertaken by GECOM and stakeholders is to cleanse the list of deceased persons, based upon information generated by the General Registrar’s Office (GRO), which is responsible for the issuance of Certificates of Death.
The PPP stated that names cannot be removed from the list on the ground that persons are dead, unless confirmation is received from the GRO.
According to the PPP, GECOM issued five lists of persons who have died between December 2015, and March 2016. One of the lists is of persons who have died, but whose names are not on the List of Registered Electors.
The PPP said it conducted a review of the list and to their surprise, discovered a significant number of names, which are in fact on the List of Registered Electors.
“This list is, therefore, not accurate. As a result, the names of deceased persons will continue to be on the List of Registered Electors,” the PPP stated.
In the circumstances, the PPP called upon GECOM to exercise greater care and due diligence in their attempts to sanitise the list.
According to the PPP, the removal of names of persons who have died, from the List of Registered Electors is a responsibility of GECOM and is guided by strict laws and rules. The party explained that only on the basis of a certified list of persons who have died, issued by the GRO, can GECOM remove a person’s name.
Ally stated that the Coalition believes in having a sanitized and realistic list of electors, but it noted that the PPP continues to live in the past and reminisces of their ‘ungodly acts in the electoral process’.
“It is my recommendation for GECOM to now have a ‘house-to-house’ registration so that they can bring home the bacon for the PPP,” Ally stated.
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