See release from the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) following government’s announcement yesterday that consultations on the proposed changes to election laws will commence soon:
The APNU+AFC Coalition finds it necessary to respond to a report yesterday that the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Governance will soon be convening a national stakeholders’ consultation on the draft amendments to Guyana’s electoral laws. Our rejection of this entire process, as spelt out in our Press Statement on 17th May 2022. still stands. We had then declared, and still maintain, that:
1. The PPP must face the reality that the nation has rejected both its amendments to
ROPA and its so-called public consultations on electoral reform. This rejection is informed by the fact that the PPP’s approach is piecemeal, deceitful, and self serving. It totally fails to address key systemic and structural flaws and weaknesses in our electoral system. It totally avoids any consideration of major constitutional, statutory, administrative, operational, and technological reforms.
2. For the Opposition, local, regional, and national elections must meet three objectives: (1) only eligible persons must be registered-that is, we must have a clean voters list, (i) results must accurately reflect the will of those who voted. and (iii) every step of the election process must win the trust and confidence of the public, participating parties, and other relevant stakeholders. Meeting these three objectives requires that Guyana must embark on URGENT AND COMPREHENSIVE ELECTORAL REFORM.
3. Comprehensive electoral reform must, at minimum, include the following components: (1) a thorough review by GECOM of its performance in managing recent elections: (ii) genuine national consultations involving the public, civil society, and the parliamentary political parties. These must be modelled after the 1999/2000 Constitution Reform Commission process. In particular, its key elements must include: a multi-stakeholder/expert committee, a consensus chairperson, a public call for oral and written submissions, and public outreaches and hearings, (iii) the in-depth involvement of experts on electoral laws, electoral systems, elections technologies, and elections management, and (iv) holistic constitutional and legislative amendments or enactments. We stand ready to lend parliamentary support to all agreed-to changes. The PPP however continues to ignore the calls from a range of local and international stakeholders to abandon its unilateral and self-serving scheme on electoral reform. It continues to recklessly disregard the demand for a clean voters list. The shenanigans of the PPP will not win the trust and confidence of the public, participating parties, and other relevant stakeholders. It is past time for the PPP to stop its nonsense.