PPP asks Gecom to extend registration

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has written to the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) requesting an extension on the latest cycle of continuous registration to facilitate transfers for over 8,000 persons.

However, the letter was sent on Friday, one day before the registration process was due to conclude.

Gecom’s Public Relations Officer Vishnu Persaud could not confirm whether or not a request was submitted to the Chief Elections Officer for an extension of the registration exercise.

He, however, told Stabroek News that “Persons were given the opportunity to apply for transfers throughout the sixth cycle and we have recorded 2,007 transfers.”

Persons who would have changed their address since they were last registered were required to apply for transfers but Persaud said Gecom would not be in a positon to determine how many such persons are out there. He said that in 2005 continuous registration was first introduced and in 2010 transfers were done as claims and objections in preparation for local government elections and again in 2011 in preparation for general elections.

PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee, during a weekly press briefing yesterday, stated that it was estimated that 8,389 persons were in need of transfers owing to the amount of new housing schemes created across the country’s regions. He said the party’s request for an extension to facilitate the transfers was to ensure that no eligible voter was disenfranchised.

Rohee stated that transfers were not part of the previous continuous registration cycles and as a result a backlog was created. He said that only now, during the sixth cycle of continuous registration, have transfers been possible. He stated that Gecom’s public relations was poor and that although numerous mobile units where set up in the new housing schemes persons were not made aware of them.

According to Rohee, the establishment of 22 new housing schemes in regions 3 to 6 was the main reason for the need for transfers. Based on estimates by party “activists and supporters,” he said, a comprehensive breakdown of potential transfers for all 10 regions, included 2,140 for Region Three, where there are five new housing schemes; 2,940 for Region Four, where there are nine new housing schemes; and 2,170 in Region Six, where there are four new housing schemes.

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