Coalition in ‘No registration, No election’ protest
A group of supporters and members of the APNU+AFC took the streets Thursday demanding that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) conduct House-to-House registration before any elections are held in Guyana.
The Coalition believes that many Guyanese, especially young people, will not be able to vote if GECOM goes ahead with general and regional elections without House to House Registration.
The protest action in Kingston Georgetown, the headquarters of the election body, on Thursday was meant to get GECOM’s attention to the position of the APNU+AFC – a position that is in contrast to the Opposition – which believes that the current list of electors is valid to conduct the polls.
Annette Ferguson, Vice Chairperson of the People’s National Congress Reform – the largest party in the coalition – rallied the supporters at the protest
“As I am on the floor here…do not lose hope, do not lose faith in your Government. Three years, we have done tremendous things in this nation to bring about the desired changes we all long for. We promised you that good life,” Ferguson said.
Meanwhile, AFC Chairman Khemraj Ramjattan called for a clean voters list.
“I would like the list to be cleansed of all the dead people and those who are not residents…I would like also the residency requirement…because a lot of people have shifted out say from Port Mourant to Parfaite Harmonie, they must be allowed to vote in Parfaite Harmonie…that is an important requirement because you might get them disenfranchised,” Ramjattan said.
Ramjattan refuted the Opposition’s claims that the coalition is involved in the delaying of elections.
“That same Opposition, if when we win the elections with this list, they’re gonna say it’s rigged elections. You wanna bet?”
Meanwhile, PNC member, Ronald Bulkan claimed that the last House to House registration was done over a decade ago and that the current list is bloated with over 600,000 names in a population of approximately 750,000.
“The list is bloated. We cannot have an election with the current list being used as the basis,” he said.
House to House registration can take between four to eight months but GECOM has indicated that it can bypass the House to House registration and conduct a Claims and Objections process in order to fast track preparations for elections.
However, the coalition believes that this will not purge or sanitize the list.
Following the December 21 No Confidence motion, elections are due by March 19, unless the National Assembly agrees on an extension.
Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire last Thursday declared that the motion was validly and lawfully carried.
The Government has already appealed her ruling.
The coalition protested GECOM two days after the protest of the PPP who demanded that the election body set a date for elections.