Jagdeo pleased with CJ ruling that GECOM cannot remove names from National Register
In reacting to the Chief Justice’s ruling, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo told a news conference Wednesday that the House-to-House registration is a colossal waste of time given that the High Court also ruled that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) cannot remove the names of persons from the National Register of Registrants (NRR).
The GECOM creates a new voters list using the National Register; as such, Mr Jagdeo said the People’s Progressive Party has been vindicated in telling its supporters not to register.
“The Chief Justice ruled that House-to-House in itself is not unconstitutional but she said that GECOM cannot operate as if it is in a normal election cycle.
“But then she said that residency is not a qualifying requirement and therefore the names of persons on the list – the NRR and the OLE [Official List of Electors] – cannot be removed unless deceased or becomes disqualified based on article 159 of the constitution.”
“So that’s very clear. It means that the entire House-to-House exercise…has been a complete waste of time and money because they cannot remove people from the NRR who have already registered.”
According to Jagdeo, the Chief Justice went on to say it would be unconstitutional for people who are already registered to be removed because they reside within another jurisdiction or location within Guyana.
“So that means that the NRR that we have used to extract the OLE for all the elections before remains intact and when the enumerators come around now, whether you’re home or not, whether you’re register or not, once your name is on the NRR and you voted in the last elections, they cannot remove your name,” the Opposition Leader said.
Mr Jagdeo hopes that the GECOM will respect the ruling.
“This is a major major movement forward and therefore we expect that GECOM will respect the decision of the court and move swiftly to the claims and objections period so that we can update the list and move to elections.”
The Chairman of GECOM Justice (Rt’d) Claudette Singh is slated to meet with the full Commission Thursday now that the High Court has ruled.