GECOM Chairman offers ‘encouraging words’ to Jagdeo

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Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and other members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Tuesday met with the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh and the entire Commission.

Following the meeting, Mr Jagdeo told reporters outside the GECOM Kingston, Georgetown office that the Chairman said “some encouraging words” which made him feel “better” about the holding of general and regional elections.

“The Chairman said some encouraging words but I will not repeat them…encouraging words because it has an outer limit to this whole ordeal we are going through,” Mr Jagdeo said.

He described the meeting as “good” and reiterated that there were “some encouraging signs and statements made.”

The Opposition Leader told the media that the PPP shared with the Chairman suggestions on how a new voters’ list can be derived for the holding of elections as opposed to merging the old National Register of Registrants with data gathered during the recently concluded House to House registration.

“We went through the details of the merger to show that it will be merging unverified data with verified database, it will take a long time to do so; the cross-matching of fingerprints will not be helpful in duplicate registration, the NRR will be contaminated with multiple registration…we said there is a simpler way to identify new registrants and that can be done swiftly in a Claims and Objections period,” Mr Jagdeo said.

As it relates to the March 2020 timeline for elections which was proposed by the Secretariat to GECOM, the Opposition Leader made it clear that elections can be held before the end of 2019.

“March [2020] is totally out the window. We’re looking for elections before the end of the year…I’m looking at a date long before the end of the year,” the Opposition Leader said.

The GECOM’s statutory meeting is still ongoing and according to Mr Jagdeo, the PPP awaits the outcome of the discussions.

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