Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on house-to-house registration objectors to desist from “targeting” enumerators attached to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

At this Church Street office yesterday, the politician said that the attacks on enumerators come as a result of objectors seeing these officials as “complicit”. Jagdeo, however, has been on the forefront of the demonstrations against the process and has been calling for a national boycott even before the process was operationalised some 13 day ago.

Nevertheless, the former Head of State is calling on persons to not be hostile to enumerators who are professionals, and should therefore be treated as such.

“I know that most of the enumerators are professional people and I want to urge Guyanese not to target the enumerators. They are doing a job and a lot of them are professionals but people see them as being complicit in this illegality. They are doing this for pay. You can treat them politely and say: I’m not registering”,”Jagdeo told the nation via a Facebook livestream yesterday.

He noted also that enumerators are trying to earn a living and objectors of the process should not try to disparage them.

Jagdeo said that he has recommended that the activity be suspended and that enumerators should be paid for all their effort and training.

“So, give them a month or two salary but suspend the activity,” the politician noted.

The Opposition Leader’s call comes mere hours before the GECOM announced that it received several reports of threats and intimidation from its field staff who are conducting the house-to-house registration exercise.

The Commission said that over the last few days, several enumerators were attacked and injured due to dog bites which were allegedly instigated by residents who are not in agreement with the registration exercise.

As a countermeasure, the commission said that it has engaged the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to provide surveillance in communities and to assist with the security of the field staff.

The house-to-house registration is marred in controversy following the Caribbean Court of Justices (CCJ’s) validation of the no-confidence motion, which has now reduced the David Granger-led regime into a “caretaker” government.

The controversy was further exacerbated after a notice signed by former Chairman Justice (Retired) James Patterson was published informing the nation that the process of house-to-house will commence from July 20, 2019. The notice was placed days before the CCJ ruled that Patterson’s appointment was unconstitutional and therefore flawed.

There are factions within society who believe that the CCJ’s ruling on the appointment of Patterson has overtaken the operationalisation order. There are also some who believe that the order is unaffected by the ruling since it was gazetted when Patterson’s position was deemed as bona fide.

The coalition government, in the meanwhile, has given its support to the process, claiming that it contains the required methodological components to accurately capture electorate data for a new voters’ list following the expiration of the last one in April of this year.

The PPP/C, on the other hand, is contending that the house-to-house process will surpass the constitutional deadline imposed by Article 106 (6) and (7), which provides guidance on the way forward after a government has fallen to a no-confidence motion. Elections, it says, must be held within three months.

An unsuccessful attempt was made weeks ago to stop the process when Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire refused to grant an application by attorney-at-law Christopher Ram, who had approached the court seeking a Conservatory Order prohibiting the election body’s registration exercise.

The argument was that the ongoing process will surpass the September 18 elections deadline. According to previous reports, the Chief Justice requested more evidence to persuade her that the exercise will go past that date.


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