PPP/C denounces “falsehoods” on H-t-H registration
…says Govt misleading nation
As the APNU/AFC Government continues to push for the conduction of House-to-House registration—which could delay the hosting of possible early elections until next year – the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is accusing the coalition of misleading the nation.
The Opposition has been insisting that there is no need for House-to-House registration when the voters’ list can be sanitised through a claims and objections period.
But this option was dismissed by Volda Lawrence, the Chairwoman of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) – the leading party in the APNU. At a press conference on Friday, Lawrence pointed out that this process is to correct issues raised with the list.
Furthermore, the PNC Chair went on to say that with a clean list, the coalition is confident of not only returning to office but also garnering better results at the upcoming polls.
“We believe as a party that once this list is cleaned that we have a very good chance of having not just one seat over the Opposition but that the number of our seats will increase. So we are calling for the removal of these names that are there on the list and you cannot find the persons; we are calling for the removal of the persons who are now deceased – those who would have died at home and those who would’ve died abroad. We’re calling for the removal of those persons from the list,” Lawrence posited.
In a subsequent statement on Friday, the Opposition, however, contended that all of the coalition’s concerns about removing dead people on the list and adding young people can be addressed through a claims and objections process.
This, the PPP said, was confirmed by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield earlier this year. Back in February, Lowenfield had said “We can move toward the conduct… of a claims and objections exercise of a duration to be specified by the Commission so that we can arrive at a list. Claims allow for the youth to be added and objections for the deceased to be removed based on the submission made by the Guyana Register Office (GRO). Other deaths not reported to GRO, when we are in the field, people will come to us and say Jagmohan next door died and we want his name to be removed”.
To this end, the Opposition noted that the falsehood being touted by the PNCR as “facts” on the voters’ list is appalling. The party further outlined that new House-to-House registration would disenfranchise Guyanese students studying abroad, Guyanese working overseas, and other Guyanese who may be holidaying.
“The Constitution details exactly what the requirements are for Guyanese to be included on the voters list. The current proposal for new national House-to-House registration would de-register hundreds of Guyanese who are currently included on the voters’ list,” the party stressed.
Meanwhile, the PPP pointed out that a new voters’ list will not give the Granger-led administration any advantage of returning to office as being claimed. In fact, it was noted that it is the policies and hard work of political parties that ensure electoral victory, not a new voter’s list.
“In over four years, the APNU/AFC coalition has only been successful in increasing the hardships placed on the Guyanese people – over 30,000 jobs have been lost, the decline in the local economy is visible, key productive sectors are facing greater hardships, there has been increased taxation resulting in Guyanese having less disposable income, and much more, including the decline of the health and other critical sectors. The policies of the current administration have failed to ensure greater job and wealth creation for our people,” the Opposition missive detailed.
Moreover, the PPP took the PNCR to task over allegations that the former ruling party had created a “corrupt” voters’ list while in office. The Opposition pointed out that there was never such a complaint by the coalition before when the list was used for not only the 2011 General and Regional Elections, but the 2015 polls which got the APNU/AFC into Government. It was noted too that more recently, the same list was used for Local Government Elections (LGE) in both 2016 and 2018.
“The PNCR will not be allowed to mislead the Guyanese people. The PNCR’s track record with elections that are not fair, nor credible, is one that is known internationally… The party reiterates that complaints about the voters’ list being unclean were never raised by the PNCR during the past several elections,” the Opposition noted.
According to the PPP, this push for new registration is a ploy by the coalition to delay constitutionally due elections.
“A claims and objections exercise can address all of the issues that are being raised as ‘justifications’ for new national House-to-House registration… The APNU/AFC coalition Government must stop engaging in delay tactics and call elections now”.