Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall, is arguing that the data garnered from the House-to-house registration cannot be used because it was not subject to scrutiny from the Peoples’ Progressive Party(PPP).
The PPP executive member made this assertion on a live call-in programme, “Issues in the News”, that was streamed on the PPP/C’s Facebook page last evening. This was hours after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) announced that it was going to bring the House-to-house process to an end on the 31st of this month and that the data already gathered will be merged with the existing National Register of Registrants Database (NRRDB).
Nandlall, when contacted by the Guyana Standard to comment on the intended merge, directed this publication to the programme, where he spoke “extensively” on the matter.
The former minister stated that the use of the data generated from the process cannot be used because the accumulation of the information was not scrutinized by the PPP/C or by any other parties, except those of the governing alliance.
But that is not the only reason Nandlall gave for disagreeing with GECOM’s plan to merge the data. Another concern has to do with the forms that were used to accumulate the data. He argued that the form enumerators are using is the wrong statutory one.
He expressed worry also, that the accommodation of this data through inputting and processing, will likely push the hosting of regional and general elections to next year.
“It [data from House-to-house] is in raw form [on] sheets of paper. So, it has to now be put into forms that are conducive to allow for the input of the information into a computer database. This alone is a time-consuming task. Then there is the cross-referencing so that entire process will take another three months to complete, then move to claims and objections which will take another two to three months. And then, you go towards the extraction of a preliminary list, and then the OLE, the Official List of Electors…Then another period has to be set aside for nomination day. So, this will take us into next year,” Nandlall concluded.
The attorney-at-law said that he is not impressed with the decision of GECOM, since the “struggle for early elections is still on,”
GECOM’s Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, S.C., C.C.H at the Statutory Meeting of the Commission held yesterday, instructed the following:
“1. House to House Registration must be brought to an end. As such, Order 25 of 2019 published in the Official Gazette should be amended for the exercise to conclude on 31st August, 2019 instead of 20th October, 2019.
2. Based on the ruling of the Chief Justice on 14th August, 2019 that House to House Registration is not unlawful and is constitutional, the data garnered from that registration exercise must be merged with the existing National Register of Registrants Database (NRRDB).
3. In this regard, the Commission will move to ensure all arrangements for the publication of a credible Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) before commencement of an extensive Claims and Objections (C&O) exercise.”
GECOM said that it will continue to further deliberate on other matters of importance for the holding of General and Regional Elections within the shortest possible time and the Secretariat will continue to implement a number of operations activities, in particular, the training of polling day staff and procurement of non-sensitive materials.