Last update on Sunday, 13 November 2022, 18:22 by Denis Chabrol
As A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) continues to oppose the law’s ability to address their concerns about the bloated voter list and lack of an Electoral Commission of Guyana to ensure that voters remain where they are registered, One of their Electoral Officers on Sunday pointed to some issues that will return to court.
Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton is on record as saying the two options to press the case for a white voter list are political and “see if there’s a legal way.” When asked if Alexander and his fellow Electors- Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman- would be legal, Alexander said that the political parties should give some guidance. “It is not the job of the commissioners to take these matters to court. This has not been done and whether they go to court or not, I think that is a matter for politicians to advise,” he said of the People’s National Congress Reform’s (PNCR) campaign, ‘ Nation Watch’.
Mr Vincent Alexander asked if the High Court decision in Roxane George-Wiltshire in 2018 stated that residence was not a requirement for registration, and that people’s names could not be removed from the national register of registrars, the method applied to voters. list. “That doesn’t answer the question that was asked: What that decision means is that you can’t take names off the voter list because they’re two different types of tools,” he said.
He said it could be argued that the national register of registrations should contain the names of all Guyanese whether in Guyana or abroad, but he suggested that the voter’s list should not contain the names of all persons who are not freedom to vote.
Mr Alexander said a system of claims and objections and other systems could be developed that would require Guyanese who are not on the electoral roll to be included.
Another option, he said, is to activate the use of the National Registration Act’s provisions which require the Chief Immigration Officer to periodically submit to the Chief Immigration Officer the names of people who have overstayed out of the country. . He said the law empowers the Chief Registration Officer to decide how to handle those names for the voter registration and list. In addition, he said that the law allows such people to file a claim to be placed on the list.
The GECOM Commissioner also said that the recount of all the votes cast in the general and local elections of March 2020 and the information provided by the Director of Immigration shows that some people voted abroad on election day, a claim last week strongly criticized by Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and Governor Gail Teixeira. At that time, many people came forward saying that they came to Guyana and voted.
According to Mr Alexander, a former member of the Central Executive Committee of the People’s National Congress Reform and a member of parliament for that party, until 2007 there was only one agreement to conduct registration every time to issue a a new register of registrars and a new list of voters. He said the reason there were no new household registrations in 2016 2017 was because Parliament had not yet allocated funds for 2018.
When GECOM conducted house-to-house registration in 2018, the PPP moved the High Court which ruled in that case that residence is not a reason for removing names from the national register. .
Although the APNU+AFC is relying on information from the Immigration Department of the Guyana Police Force to say that close to 200,000 people arrived abroad on Election Day- March 2, 2020- the Opposition Leader said and Norton cannot use the claims and denial system to challenge those names. “Based on the nature of Claims and Objections, it is very difficult to get (even) 50,000 names less than 200,000 people through Claims and Objections. It’s basically a trial – people come and make their case; he said. He said, like the People’s Progressive Party Civic during the 2015 protest, APNU+AFC is now calling for house-to-house registration and the use of biometrics at polling stations.
LGE and Electoral Roll
The GECOM Commissioner for the LGE said that the presence of voters should be reflected in the voter list based on where they eat, sleep and other reasons. He said that the voter list for the March 13, 2023 Election has not been drawn based on constituencies and voters have been informed that they can vote against people who live elsewhere. He pointed out that if the list was made correctly, voters could have a way to transfer their registration to the constituencies they are currently living in.
Alexander Alexander said that he and his fellow opposition commissioners- Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman- will not support the retention of LGE next March without a review of the general elections for March 2020, already like the voter list to take into account constituencies and demographics. used at polling stations.
Although the Alliance For Change (AFC) confirmed on Tuesday that it will follow the LGE, APNU has not announced its position.