GECOM foot dragging on new registrations info

-PNCR

The main opposition PNCR yesterday accused the Guyana Elections Commis-sion (GECOM) of “reluctance” in releasing full particulars of registration applications coming out of the recently-conducted Claims and Objections (C&O) exercise.

According to the party, it requested the particulars of all new registration transactions to enable it to undertake its own review and analysis of the list of new applicants for registration.

The request, the party said, is in keeping with the spirit of the National Registration (Amendment) Act 2011, which was crafted to allow for the reopening of the C&O process.

“It is, therefore, a matter of concern to the PNCR that, having requested a copy of the List ‘of all eligible Electors registered subsequent to the enactment of this amendment’ the Party has been provided with an “Alpha List of New Registrants” bereft of any of the necessary particulars to be included in ‘the Preliminary List’ and which would enable the Party to conduct its own review and analysis of the List of new Registration transactions which were undertaken by GECOM,” it said in a statement issued yesterday. It added that it expected the information to be released in a timely manner.

A GECOM official told Stabroek News that since the verification of prospective new registrants has not been completed, GECOM is unable to meet the PNCR’s request at this time.

However, it was pointed out that during the objections aspect of the C&O process, GECOM had posted supplementary lists with particulars of all the applicants in the various divisions, thereby making the information public knowledge.

Following a 3-2 vote by commissioners, GECOM last month announced that a new round of Claims and Objections would be held to facilitate the registration of persons who were previously unable to register. It is estimated that over 7,000 persons were subsequently registered during the process.

In Clause 14A (1) of the amended National Registration Act, the PNCR noted yesterday, it is envisaged that GECOM would be “……duly observing the procedures for the registration of those eligible electors and direct the Commissioner to have all such eligible electors included in the Supplementary List annexed to the Preliminary List to constitute the Revised List.” Further, Clause 14(2) requires that, “The Commis-sioner shall make available to all registered Political Parties the names of all eligible Electors registered subsequent to the enactment of this amendment.”

The PNCR urged GECOM Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally and Chief Elections Officer Gocool Boodhoo to remember that it is their constitutional and statutory responsibility to ensure that, in conformity with the Representation of the People Act, “there is a non discriminatory and level playing field” for all parties contesting the upcoming polls.

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