PPP protests sharing of information between GECOM and Ministries

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The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Monday has expressed concerns with the recent decision by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to share its database with the Ministries of Education and Social Protection.

 

Statement;

 

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is astonished and deeply concerned over certain recent horrendous decisions adopted by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

 

Firstly, is GECOM’s decision to share unsolicited, its database including confidential details of Registrants with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

 

This is unprecedented in the history of the electoral process in Guyana and since the establishment of GECOM.

 

The justification provided by GECOM’s chairman, Steve Surujbally, and the representatives of the APNU+AFC are spurious and creates grounds for suspicion. Electoral skullduggery facilitated by the APNU+AFC and Mr. Surujbally is once again in the making.

 

The use of linkages between GECOM’s and the Ministry of Education’s respective public relations programmes to inveigle GECOM to share unsolicited, its database with the Ministry of Education is fraught with unimaginable implications for free and fear elections in Guyana.

 

Further, the justification to share GECOM’s database with the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in order for that Ministry to rectify the names and addresses of pensioners as well as to assist in deleting names of pensioners smacks of deep suspicion that GECOM’s database could be used for other sinister electoral purposes.

 

In any event, sharing of GECOM’s database with either of these two Ministries is unnecessary and uncalled for since both Ministries have the institutional capacity to rectify their respective institutional deficiencies.

 

The Party is of the strong view that the Nation must be consulted in respect to the unsolicited release of confidential personal data of citizens captured in National Register of Registrants (NRR) to government agencies and departments, a practice that has no precedent in Guyana.

 

The PPP views as absolutely necessary, the need to validate the legality of GECOM sharing its database with government agencies such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.

 

The second decision by GECOM is its decision to accept “source documents” in the form of late registration birth certificates presented to Registration Offices by applicants who are primarily middle-aged persons.

 

The PPP views this decision as dripping with suspicion and recalls the strong criticisms expressed by the Party in respect to the efficacy of a Department of Citizenship, under the Ministry of the Presidency, which many view as the part of a rigging machinery established primarily to issue birth certificates to underage persons and as well as to middle-aged persons as in currently being done.

 

The PPP denounces this practice and demands an immediate halt to this electoral travesty which is laying the basis for a padded voters’ list favourable to the APNU+AFC.

 

The Party takes this opportunity to alert both the donor and diplomatic communities to these sordid and unsavory developments.

 

The third decision by GECOM which the PPP wishes to make public is the breach of an obligation made by the chairman of GECOM at a meeting held with a PPP delegation on April 21, 2016.

 

At that meeting, GECOM’s Chairman personally and exclusively committed to providing written answers to a number of questions raised by the General Secretary of the Party.

 

The Party is reliably informed that Mr. Surujbally has “reconsidered his commitment and did not see the necessity to write the PPP/C”.

 

This shameless decision by Surujbally flies in the face of transparency and is nothing but a clear manifestation of contemptuousness and disrespect towards the PPP, a major stakeholder in the electoral process in Guyana.

 

The PPP wishes to make it clear that in its statement issued on April 21, 2016,

 

following its meeting with GECOM; the Party avoided any reference whatsoever to those matters which Mr. Surujbally had undertaken to respond to in writing.

 

Mr. Surujbally’s lack of scruples in this particular matter strengthens the suspicion of the PPP about  his Bollers-type anti-PPP role in the May 2015 General and Regional elections which reveals his hands to be dirty with fraud.

 

The PPP will continue to expose Mr. Surujbally’s cohabitation with his APNU+AFC Commissioners to deny the supporters of the PPP/C their legitimate right to free and fair elections in this country.

July 18, 2016

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