The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)’s General Secretary, Amna Ally, said that the party accepts the decision of the Guyana Elections Commission (GGMC) to halt the House to House registration process, which started on July 20, 2019.
She was speaking at a press conference yesterday at Congress Place, Sophia.
Reading from a prepared statement, Ally said that the PNCR “remains committed to respecting the independence of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the laws of our country and upholding the Constitution of Guyana. In this regard, we are in agreement with the Chairperson of GECOM that a credible list is critical to a fair and free election.”
She said that the party is pleased that the data garnered from the exercise will be considered, as it is essential to hold credible elections.
Even in accepting GECOM’s decision to end House-to-House registration, producing a credible list of electors may continue to be an issue, according to Ally.
Ally stressed the PNCR’s position that House-to-House is the only exercise which can produce a credible list.
For months, the Government has been staunchly advocating for House-to-House registration, as opposed to the political opposition, which is in favour of claims and objections.
Despite that contention, Ally indicated that there will be no challenge of GECOM’s decision.
“GECOM has a right to implement whatever process they have to implement in order to produce a credible list. The House-to-House is not illegal and there is a National Register of Registrants (NRR) and therefore GECOM has to know what they are going to do by putting the two together to produce a credible list.”
Chairman of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh, had on Tuesday instructed that House-to-House registration be brought to an end by Saturday, August 31 (today). She also instructed that the data gathered from the registration exercise be merged with the existing National Registrants Database; and the Commission move to an extensive claims and objections exercise before extracting the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE).
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo believes that the process is unnecessary and only serves as another delaying tactic by proponents of House-to-House at GECOM. He expressed the opinion that with the merger, there will be duplications on the list. Since the House to House exercise was not scrutinised, he expressed worry that this will undermine the integrity of the upcoming elections.
He said he was concerned that the exercise could have registered “fake people” and migrants who have not yet been residents of Guyana long enough to earn the right to vote. He had also raised the contention that thousands of persons could be disenfranchised if their names are illegally removed from the list. He had said that this could specifically affect persons in certain Hinterland communities which are strongholds of the PPP.
Like the PNCR, the PPP will not challenge the merger.
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