Home Letters GECOM must halt House-to- House Registration
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the main stakeholder responsible for conducting elections in Guyana, is on the verge of losing confidence from the people of Guyana if it doesn’t put a stop to House-to-House Registration and start preparing for Regional and General Elections by September 18, 2019.
To begin with, I have seen that the Government’s Commissioners of GECOM are determined to have H2H Registration, saying that the National Assembly has already approved money for H2H Registration. However, I would like to draw to your attention that after that approval, the Government was faced with a No-Confidence Motion (NCM) on December 21, 2019, where it was defeated by a “majority” and as such, GECOM, by all means, should have started preparations for early elections as stipulated by the Constitution.
In addition, the initiation of H2H Registration is also questionable due to the fact that it was directed by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), whereas it should’ve been a decision made by the Commission, and at that time, GECOM was without a Chair.
Furthermore, whilst some are questioning the validity of the current voters’ list, the CEO of GECOM clearly stated that the current voters’ list can be updated by having a period of Claims and Objections, which allow for those who are not registered to get registered and to remove names of dead persons, which in my opinion, is the right path to traverse due to the limited time available.
Moreover, I would like to highlight to the general public that the H2H Registration can disenfranchise people from making the voters’ list by: i) Guyanese by birth who live abroad but are still citizens, ii) persons who may not be present at home at the time of the visit by the enumerator. For example, persons may be currently on vacation in another country or due to the fact that there is a lack of employment on the coastal areas of the country, there may be thousands working in the interior.
I would like to further bring to your attention that H2H Registration is to create a National Register of registrants 14 years and above, and not a voters’ list.
It, therefore, means that H2H Registration is an unnecessary activity aimed at disenfranchising eligible Guyanese and delaying tactics since based on GECOM’s timetable, H2H Registration will run into 2020, which will clearly lead to a non-adherence to the CCJ’s ruling and Article 106 (6), which states “The Cabinet, including the President shall resign if the Government is defeated by the vote of a majority of all the elected members of the National Assembly on a vote of confidence.” Article 106 (7) says “Notwithstanding its defeat, the Government shall remain in office and shall hold an election within three months, or such longer period as the National Assembly shall by resolution supported by not less than two-thirds of the votes of all the elected members of the National Assembly determine, and shall resign after the President takes the oath of office following the election.”
In conclusion, I am calling on all Guyanese to boycott the illegal activation of H2H Registration, which is clearly designed to delay elections and deprive Guyanese of their democratic right to elect a Government of their choice.