The People’s Progress Party Civic (PPP/C) has signaled that it will support the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) undertaking another round of the Claims and Objections exercise in furtherance of the establishment of the Register of Voters for the upcoming Local Government Elections slated for March 13, 2023.
The party’s statement comes in the face of Chief Elections Officer, Vishnu Persaud’s request to Chairman of GECOM, retired Justice Claudette Singh that the commission approves the conduct of a 14-day exercise under Section 24A ‘Correction of Registers by Elections Commission’ for Local Government Elections to address specific concerns raised by the APNU+AFC regarding the List of Electors and the alleged omission of information relating to constituencies from the list.
The Chief Elections Officer indicated a strong likelihood of the process delaying the conduct of Local Government Elections but insisted that in order for the elections to be free and fair, citizens must be given the opportunity to register to vote or object to the names of anyone who is on the list that does not satisfy the requirements to vote.
“The APNU+AFC coalition, as a major parliamentary stakeholder in the conduct of elections, has a large suppose base among the electorate. In this regard, it would not be unreasonable to assume that the constituents of the coalition would withhold their participation in the upcoming Local Government Elections,” Persaud added.
Meanwhile concerns about the authority of the Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamlall’s boundary demarcation, and how the List of Electors should be prepared and finalized were deferred to a special meeting scheduled for Thursday.
GECOM will make a determination at that meeting on whether Dharamlall has the authority to adjust constituency boundaries and whether, given that he has already done so, his actions can be rendered null and void.