New voters’ list would give coalition more seats to ‘stave off Charrandass attack’ – PNCR Chair
The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) –the largest party in the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) coalition –is confident that with a new voters’ list, the coalition will acquire enough votes at the next elections to get more than a one-seat majority in the National Assembly.
“We believe as a party that once this list is cleaned, that we have a very good chance of not just having one seat over the opposition but that the number of our seats will increase,” PNCR Chair, Volda Lawrence said at a press conference on Friday at Congress Place, Sophia, Georgetown.
She believes that the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) “can maneuver the list in its present corrupt form” to the detriment of the Government.
With the successful passage of the No-Confidence motion, the Government insists that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) conduct house-to-house registration to create a new national list of electors. This process will take months to complete.
In fact, Lawrence believes that had there been house-to-house registration prior to the 2015 general and regional Elections, the APNU+AFC would not have lost the December 21st No-Confidence motion.
“We believe that if this list was cleansed prior to 2015 that we would have been in a better position in the National Assembly so that we could have staved off any Charrandass [Persaud] attack,” she said.
Charrandass Persaud is a former Alliance For Change (AFC) Member of Parliament who on December 21, 2018, took a confidence vote against his own Government.
His vote was the only one needed by the Opposition to pass the motion since the Government only has 33 members in the 65-seat National Assembly.
The Opposition has argued that a simple Claims and Objections period can address the issues raised by the Government.
However, Lawrence on Friday said “the Claims and Objections process is not to take on the registration. It is to deal with the issues that would have come out of the registration.”
As the debate on whether to hold house to house registration continues, Dr David Hinds, Executive Member of the Working Peoples’ Alliance (WPA) – one of the parties in the coalition –said the current list is more advantageous to the Opposition than the Government.
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo was asked about this on Thursday but said “the list doesn’t confer advantages” as he argued that the APNU+AFC won the 2015 elections and held two Local Government Elections (LGE) using the current list.
At both the 2016 and 2018 local elections, the PPP managed to win the majority of the seats at the Municipalities, Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and Regional Democratic Councils.
GECOM has already begun training to hold house-to-house despite the Commission’s Lawyer, Excellence Dazzell advising that such is not needed.