The Chairwoman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, ruled last month that the data garnered from that suspended house-to-house registration exercise must be “merged with the existing National Register of Registrants Database (NRRDB).” Since this revelation however, there have been concerns expressed particularly by the political opposition that the process would be compromised and there would be duplications.
In light of this, Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, explained earlier today that this is a mere misinterpretation of GECOM’s intention to “merge” the data.
“What I understand is going to happen is that [the] list produced from the house-to-house registration and the current list that exists, there is going to be what you call a cross-matching of these two lists…The data from the house-to-house registration [will be] cross-matched with that [of the NRRDB]…So, at no time – my understanding is – will you have the house-to-house data put into one bundle with the current existing NRR[DB],” the former State Minister said.
Harmon said that the Opposition, the Peoples’ Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Leader, and its commissioners at GECOM, understand this interpretation, but are blowing things out of proportion by “grapping on to a title”.
“My understanding is that in the sense of the word merger (it) means putting two things together [but] that is not the case. It is a question of cross-matching information that is derived from the house-to-house registration and information that is already there, so that what is going to happen thereafter, you’re going to have an extended period of claims and objections.”
Harmon said that while suggestions are being made by persons who believe another approach should be taken, he sees no credible, practical or efficient alternative to what GECOM is suggesting.
“We’ve heard statements made by the opposition that they [GECOM] can do this, and they [GECOM] can do that [so] let them [opposition] take that information to the [Guyana] Elections Commission and let the commission interrogate it to see what they will find,” he said.
The Director-General said that the competence lies with GECOM and therefore, it is the government’s view that the commission should be given the time to do their work.
“We have already said as a government and the parties in the coalition, that we respect the decision of the Elections Commission and we believe that the Chairman and her commissioners must be given every opportunity to do their work.”