GECOM starts countrywide distribution of ID cards

The Guyana Elections Commission

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has started the distribution period for National ID cards, warning that persons who conducted transactions with the commission previously and have not uplifted their ID cards, should also do so now.
On Monday, GECOM announced that ID cards will be distributed at all of their registration offices countrywide from November 28, between the hours of 8:00h to 16:30h from Monday to Thursday and from 08:00h to 15:30h on Friday, with a one-hour lunch break.
GECOM made a special appeal to persons who completed registration during the Continuous Registration that was held between March 2022 and May 2022, as well as the Claims and Objections exercise that was held between August and September, 2022, to visit the offices where their transactions were done to collect their IDs.
“The commission is also advising persons that authorisations will not be accepted and, in this regard, registrants must uplift their ID cards personally in accordance with GECOM’s standard operating procedures in relation to the verification of identity, transparency and accountability.”
“Specifically, only persons who would have completed new registration transactions, changes to their registration particulars or applied for a replacement are required to visit the registration office,” GECOM said.
They also urged persons who conducted transactions in registration exercises predating 2022 but did not uplift their ID cards, to do so now… ahead of Local Government Elections (LGE), which are due to be held on March 13, 2023.
GECOM has already designated December 12, 2022, as nomination day for the upcoming LGE. On nomination day, parties make their way to a designated location, where their representatives are usually required to submit their list of candidates to the Chief Election Officer, as well as sign on to the required documents, such as a code of conduct, to contest the elections.
Since losing the March 2020 elections, the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Opposition has been claiming that the voters’ list is bloated and that they want biometric security measures to be used in addition to ID cards.
Their claims of a bloated list come despite GECOM already conducting Claims and Objections, a legally mandated method of cleansing the list. The exercise captured more than 3000 new applicants who will be eligible to vote by October 31, 2022, with only 18 objections to names on the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE).
And based on a 2019 High Court ruling, GECOM cannot remove any person from the National Register of Registrants (NRR) – from which the voters’ list is compiled – unless they are dead or otherwise disqualified under Article 159 (2), (3) and (4) of the Constitution.
LGE, which are usually due every two years, was last held in 2018. At the last LGE in November 2018, the then People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Opposition had secured 52 of the 80 Local Authority Areas (LAAs). This followed the holding of the LGE in 2016, during which the PPP/C also claimed the majority of the LAAs. (G3)