PPP not ‘cooperating’ with house to house registration, to file court action

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The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is now urging its supporters to not “cooperate” with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) house to house registration exercise which began Saturday across the country.

This position was taken by the political opposition less than 24 hours after the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters at protest outside GECOM’s office that the PPP will not encourage its supporters to boycott the activity.

Jagdeo had said the PPP will cooperate with the registration exercise noting that “we are not going to be caught flat-footed. Our purpose is winning the elections whenever they are called and the PPP is ready for that. We have to follow the process until it stops.”

But in a video recorded message posted on the party’s Facebook page and sent to the media Saturday, the Opposition Leader said, “We in the party have decided that over this weekend, we will not be cooperating with the activity.”

He said the PPP will be filing an injunction seeking to stop the process on Monday.

“We will go to the courts to seek an injunction against this illegal activity which is done in contravention of the order of the CCJ (Caribbean Court of Justice)…we’ll try to stop the activity,” he noted.

The Opposition Leader said the PPP has not been formally informed of the process nor was it asked to send scrutineers who are needed to track the activity.

“We will try to stop this activity through every means possible,” he noted.

Jagdeo said each form for the registration exercise has to be signed by scrutineers from two parties but the PPP –a major political party—was not informed of the need for scrutineers.

The PPP also has three nominated commissioners at GECOM.

The Opposition Leader said his party has briefed the diplomatic community which has since issued statements calling on the Government to honour the Constitution of Guyana.

The Constitution states that elections should be held within three months after a No-Confidence motion is passed. Given that that deadline expired on March 21 as a result of several court challenges against the motion, President of the CCJ, Justice Adrian Saunders in delivering consequential orders on July 12, indirectly said the three months period will begin from June 18 when the final appellate court delivered its ruling validating the motion.

GECOM in a statement on Friday confirmed that it is moving ahead with the house to house registration exercise – a move that the Government supports.

The Government has argued that house to house is needed to create a new list of electors which is credible but the PPP has said the list which expired on April 30th can be updated through a Claims and Objections period given the limited timeline for elections.

The process is being conducted using an order signed by former Chairman of GECOM, Justice (retired) James Patterson on June 11th. It is expected to conclude on October 20th.

Editor’s note: This story initially stated that the Opposition will be boycotting the process but it has since been amended to reflect the actual words used by the Opposition Leader

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