Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo believes that there is a simple way to clean the voters list and get it ready for General and Regional Elections.
He said this yesterday in response to statements made by Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman and Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan at a press conference the day before. Ramjattan said that house to house registration is “absolutely necessary” before General and Regional Elections are held.
Ramjattan said that $3B was set aside by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for house to house registration and the money should be used only for that purpose.
Also, Ramjattan said that there are many persons who are dead but their names remain on the list. Providing an example, Ramjattan said that the name of the now deceased mother of Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, remains on the list.
However, Jagdeo said that house to house registration is not needed to remedy this issue.
Rather, he said, the problem can be sorted “simply by getting the record from General Registrar’s Office (GRO), sharing these records with the two political parties, publishing their names in the newspapers, then, after two weeks, you remove the names from the list, and you clear out all the dead people.”
Another reason Ramjattan put forward as to why house to house registration is needed was that persons aged 15 to 17 at the time of the last election would now be eligible to vote, and that they should be added to the list. Jagdeo did not offer any solution for that issue; he did not even acknowledge it. However, the opposition leader made note of the fact that the same list was used in Local Government Elections just a few months ago.
Jagdeo said that the government is attempting to frustrate the Constitutional deadline of March 19, which is exactly 90 days since the passage of the no confidence motion.
Furthermore, Jagdeo shared that during his meeting with President David Granger last Wednesday, he spoke against house to house registration at this time.
He said, “No decision had been made at the GECOM Commission level about a house to house registration. I know that the secretariat was preparing for one and they put, in their budget, $3B for this, which was then approved by the National Assembly. They were supposed to start in June.”
Jagdeo said he told the President that the situation has radically changed. “At that time last year, when the Parliament passed the budget for House to house registration, the no confidence motion had not been passed, and we have a deadline of 90 days imposed on us. So, now it’s impossible to have house to house registration, which could take between six to nine months. I made it clear to the President that this cannot happen, given the timelines.”