Residents from several Rupununi communities have been unable to register for upcoming elections.
Asked about the process following a flood recovery workshop in Lethem yesterday, several toshaos told this newspaper that a number of persons in their communities have been unable to register.
About 20 persons from Sand Creek do not have documents to register, said Eugene Andrews, the toshao from Sand Creek. “The process going very slowly,” he said, while adding that they are awaiting Community Development Officers (CDO’s) to assist with the process.
Toshao of Karasabai Elvis Edwards said that about over 50 persons have not registered from his village. He said that these persons were working in Brazil but when they came to register, the period for registration was already closed.
Toshao from Rewa, Patrick Honorio said that less than 10 persons in his community had problems getting birth certificates and they were unable to register. He said that they hope to get the documents soon. They get the birth certificates from CDO’s, he said.
Meantime, James George, the toshao from Moco Moco said that getting documents was a problem but they have sorted out the issue. There were reports that residents from other villages have been similarly affected.
This problem had been raised in the past by the PNCR and the Alliance For Change. The PNCR had highlighted the obstacles facing citizens in getting registered, and in particular obtaining source documents for the process. The PNCR had said that sufficient effort was not being made to facilitate citizens obtaining basic source documents so that they can register.
In February, Registrar General Greta McDonald assured that there was no backlog of applications for birth certificates, in response to political parties’ concerns over persons not being registered because of the inability of the GRO to deliver birth and marriage certificates in a timely manner.
The situation was also acknowledged by the Guyana Elections Commission. The claims and objections period for registration has since closed.