David Hinds says APNU+AFC can’t win elections with current list
The national list of electors in its current form is not one which the APNU+AFC coalition believes could hand them a victory at the next general and regional elections.
This is the contention of Dr David Hinds, Executive Member of the Working Peoples’ Alliance (WPA) – one of the parties in the coalition.
Dr Hinds made the suggestion during a live online panel discussion on Globespan 24X7 which was hosted by former AFC member Sasenarine Singh.
The other panellists were PPP’s Gail Teixeira and Lenox Shuman of the newly formed Justice and Liberty Party (JLP).
During the discussion, Teixeira questioned why the Government was “perplexed” by the list, given that they have maintained that no elections should be held until the existing list is sanitized and updated through house-to-house registration.
With more than 600,000 persons listed as eligible voters in a country with a population of 744,000, the coalition has raised two main concerns about the list.
The first is that thousands of youths, who did not meet the age requirement during the last registration period, are excluded from the current list even though they would now be eligible to vote.
Secondly, they believe that thousands of dead people are still listed as eligible voters.
And according to Dr Hinds, the PPP is pushing for general elections with the current list because that party believes it can hand them a victory, however, he was keen to note that it is the opposite for the coalition.
“Both of you [PPP and APNU+AFC] all looked at the list. Your party [PPP] see that you can win with that list, the other one see that perhaps they could lose with that list… and y’all are clouding it in all kinds of legal this and legal that. It comes down to that.
“You look at the list, you said that PPP could win with the list. The other side pick up the list and say we can’t win with this list and that’s where we are,” the Political Scientist said, adding that he “might have let the cat out the bag.”
The WPA member went on to describe the impending elections as “the mother of all elections,” since its result will determine which party or parties get to manage the wealth to be derived from Guyana’s emerging oil and gas sectors.
“Who win, will get to oversee all the billions of dollars that will be coming. Who lose, will not get to oversee it. That’s the consideration right now,” he said.
Meanwhile, Teixeira suggested that while the PPP was not necessarily “excited” about the list in its current form, the PPP is willing to “just go with it”.
She reasoned too, that a claims and objection period could have been introduced to allow for those who are not on the current list, to be added as opposed to conducting the cyclical house-to-house registration which requires a longer period.
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has said that his party expects elections to be held within the next three months while the Guyana Elections Commissions (GECOM) has maintained that it cannot be held before November due to the house-to-house registration exercise.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) effectively gave clearance for the hosting of these elections through its ruling on the December 21 no-confidence motion.
Today, that court is also expected to hand down consequential orders which follow its ruling that the no-confidence motion was passed and that the appointment of GECOM’s Chairman, retired Justice James Patterson, was unconstitutional.