Elections still some time away as voters list not updated – Corbin

PNCR Leader Robert Corbin says his party has “some time” to prepare for an election, since neither national nor local government elections can be held unless the voters’ register is updated.

Asked during a press conference on Friday about the perceived lethargy within the party concerning the holding of local government elections, Corbin said his party was not being “lethargic” but rather “pragmatic”. He said that information from the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) indicated that the voters’ register list had to be updated. “The latest information from Gecom suggests that if there are to do anything with respect to elections they will have to open up back the register,” Corbin said. “My information is that they are planning to do that some time later this year,” he said adding that September is the likely period when this will be done.

He noted that neither local government nor general elections could be held without reopening the register for persons who have recently qualified to have their names on the voters’ list. Corbin said based on this and the fact that this process would take a while, his party had “some time” to prepare for elections. He said he hoped his party would use the time productively. “We do have some time and I hope we can use it productively,” he said.

Regarding the reconvening of the parliamentary select committee to discuss the outstanding legislation pertaining to local government reform, Corbin said he hoped this formal process could commence soon.

He noted that while there had been informal meetings about how this would work, he was looking forward to the formal process being commenced in the normal manner within the Parliament. He said the informal meetings were geared at resolving some of the issues that had stalled the Local Government Task Force for nine years, from producing the required legislation.

Meanwhile, asked about the party’s campaign for the next general election, Corbin said it was only possible to kick off an election campaign when a date is announced. However, he said his party “is keeping itself fit and ready”. Over recent weeks, various members of the party’s executive have been meeting residents in different areas, he said.

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