The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Thursday afternoon demanded that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) begin preparations now, suggesting that to do any other work is to keep dragging out an election that was due since March.
In a statement, the party noted that matters such as printing new ID cards and inputting data from the scrapped house to house registration process should not be considered at this time.
“The position of the Party has been repeated ad nauseam – the data garnered from the now scrapped house-to-house registration must not be used to contaminate the National Register of Registrants; a Preliminary List of Electors must be produced by GECOM; and there should be a move to Claims and Objections, which is a time-tested method, to allow for persons who are first time voters to be registered, among other transactions,” the PPP stated.
The party said that GECOM has had over four meetings since the appointment of the new Chairperson but “we are nowhere closer to starting preparations for General and Regional Elections, which must commence with the production of a Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) from the National Register of Registrants.”
The party accused the government-nominated GECOM Commissioners of pushing for the merger of “unverified – and probably padded – data” from the house to house registration with the National Register of Registrants.
The PPP accused the GECOM Secretariat of being complicit with the government-nominated Commissioners. The party drew this conclusion because It said the production of timelines for election activities prepared by the Secretariat are in line with what the government wants.
Talk about the production of re-designed national identification cards is wholly unnecessary at this time, the PPP stated, and is designed to delay the Elections.
The PPP said that a national ID card is not necessary to vote; other means can be used.
Further, the party said talk about cross-matching of fingerprints of the 370,822 persons GECOM claims to have registered during the now scrapped house-to-house registration stirs up more concerns.
“The purpose of this time-consuming and costly exercise is to try to identify the new registrants, which could easily be done otherwise,” the PPP stated.
However, the party said it will not identify where padding occurs as Crossmatching of fingerprints will only ascertain where there are cases of duplicates.
“And in any case cross-matching of the fingerprints will have to be done upon the completion of the Claims and Objections period,” the party stated.
“Too much time has passed already,” the PPP declared.