Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Keith Lowenfield told the media this morning that there are several challenges facing the ongoing house-to-house registration, including the endangerment enumerators are facing in the field.
The CEO said that reports on the ground state the persons against the registration exercise have been using their dogs to prevent enumerators from entering living spaces.
In outlining these challenges, Lowenfield said, “These challenges include, for example, where persons are told to register is an illegal activity and they are fending them away from participating in the process. We have had incidents where dogs are let out on our enumerators in the field.”
The CEO holds the view that the process is a legitimate one that has, thus far, registered over 50,000 persons.
The Parliamentary Opposition, the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), has been calling for a national boycott of the process, declaring that the registration exercise is an illegal one. The party has even talked about approaching the Commissioner of Police to not arrest persons against the process, despite the National Registration Act Sections 6.5, 6.6 and 6.7 stipulating that every eligible person who refuses to make an application for registration shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine of $16,250 or imprisonment for six months.
The Finance Minister Winston Jordan told the Guyana Standard recently that no court has ruled the process as illegal and, therefore, one can only assume that it is legal. As such, he said, the rule of law must be maintained.