The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has noted that house-to-house registration will come to an end on August 31 and the information gathered from that process will be integrated into a claims and objections period.
While Transparency International Guyana Inc. (TIGI) has no objection to this move, which will hopefully produce a clean voters’ list, the body stressed that it does not eliminate the possibility of election fraud. In fact, TIGI Head, Dr Troy Thomas, categorically stated that GECOM needs to do and say more about what its plans are to ensure the integrity of the election process.
During an interview with the Guyana Standard, Dr Thomas reminded that a lot has been said about whether house-to-house registration or claims and objections is the best way to go. In his eyes, no one else but GECOM is fit to decide on this. He noted, however, that GECOM still has to bear in mind that a no-confidence motion was passed on December 21, last, and elections have to be called in three months as per the provisions of the Constitution.
Dr Thomas said, “Like everyone else in this country, I want a clean list for elections…And I am not at all dissatisfied with what they eventually decided to do…But what we are not hearing enough about is how we will prevent election fraud because it is possible, even with a clean list.”
The TIGI Head added, “We need more attention on the scrutiny that will be placed on the voting process and at the polling station. I don’t have all the solutions but I know that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.”
He subsequently suggested that having cameras installed at each station could act as a deterrent against skullduggery. It may be considered costly in the eyes of many but Dr Thomas insists that there can be no price on protecting Guyana’s democracy.