A total of 11 parties have been approved to contest the March 02 General and Regional Elections.
This was disclosed by GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj after a meeting of the Commission on Tuesday.
Those parties are: A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), People’s Progressive Party (PPP), The Citizenship Initiative (TCI), The New Movement (TNM), A New and United Guyana (ANUG), the United Republican Party (URP), Change Guyana, the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), the Federal United Party (FedUP), Organisation for Victory of the People (OVP) and the People’s Republic Party (PRP).
The two parties which submitted Candidates’ list but did not get the go ahead were the National Independent Party (NIP) and the Guyana National Service Party (GNSP).
The parties submitted their lists of Candidates on Friday but Presidential Candidate of the URP, Dr. Vishnu Bandhu has since withdrawn from the race as he is a dual citizen.
GECOM is deciding how to deal with this matter since he would have signed a declaration form in the presence of a Justice of Peace (JP) declaring that he is only a citizen of Guyana and is aware of the articles in the Constitution of Guyana which prohibits dual citizens from being elected a member of the National Assembly.
“We have taken decisions as to how that is to be dealt with,” Gunraj said.
However, it is unclear how this affects his party contesting the elections since Mr. Gunraj could not disclose whether he was replaced on his National Top Up list which had the exact 42 persons required to be approved.
GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander was asked if the police will be called in to which he responded “could be.”
He added that “if Dr. Bandhu is not eligible, what essentially GECOM would do is not approve him as a candidate; there is no other action GECOM will take in direct relationship with Dr. Bandhu.”
The Commission has not yet been able to say if Lenox Shuman, Presidential Candidate of the LJP party, has relinquished his Canadian citizenship. He told the media on Friday that he has begun the process by submitting all documents required by the Canadians but has no control over how long the process takes.
Of the parties which qualified, nine will be contesting the elections at the General and Regional level while two parties -Federal United Party (FedUP) and Organisation for the Victory of the People – are contesting at the regional level. FEdUP is courting regions Five and Six, and the other party is only contesting in Region Four.
To contest the General elections, parties must contest in at least six regions.