A new voters’ list will ensure that there is minimal chance of “trouble” after the results are announced, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan said Friday.
Jordan was speaking at a press conference of the Peoples National Congress Reform, the largest party in the Coalition which now functions as a caretaker government following the December 21 passage of a No Confidence motion.
“Our position is, remains and up to yesterday (Thursday) reiterated by the President in his meeting with the diplomatic community and other organisations.
“We believe only house to house registration, which has been approved by an independent Commission -GECOM – will cleanse a list of an excess of 200, 000 entrants there that ought not to be there, provide access to young people coming of age to be on the list and ensure an election where there is a minimal chance of trouble after the results are announced,” Jordan declared.
He added: “The least we can do going into an election is have a list that all the parties – especially the main parties -believe in and have confidence in and that will reduce the chances of claiming the elections were rigged even before the elections were called.”
Jordan also commented on the role of the Police if persons miss the final opportunity to register, indicating that it is not on the first instance that the Police can charge someone for not registering.
“If the courts have so far have refused to entertain any question of stopping the registration then we have to assume the registration as of now is legal.
“And the law says if you don’t register you can be charged. So there is no question about engaging the Police not to execute the laws…absolutely no question. Otherwise where does it stop?
“Can I go to the Police and say don’t charge me for murdering Mr Y or please don’t charge me for robbing Mr X? No!
“The Police is there to execute, implement the laws of the land and until…a court of competent jurisdiction says that what the independent GECOM is doing is not right and should be stopped, then you have to assume what they are doing is legal.
“And therefore under the laws you have a right to register.”
The house to house registration exercise began on July 20 and will continue until October 20.
The Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, has urged Guyanese not to participate in the exercise, saying the entire process of compiling the list and producing ID cards will run into next year and delay elections in defiance of a June 18 ruling by the Caribbean Court of Justice for elections to be held within the clear constitutional provisions of a NO Confidence motion, namely elections in three months.