In a letter to the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, the Private Sector of Commission issued a call for the house-to-house registration exercise to be suspended, while accusing the Elections Commission of being involved in an illegal process.
The letter was signed by PSC Chairman, Captain Gerry Gouveia and mirrored many of the publicly stated sentiments of the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.
The letter accused the Elections Commission of taking an “extreme and dangerous” action that cannot be justified.
“You have not professionally justified this attempt at this extreme and dangerous action you have taken. The exclusive and non-transparent way you are going about it will not produce a credible NRRD. In fact, experience shows that such an exercise would take far more than the three months you have scheduled to properly include registrants”, Gouveia wrote.
He accused the Elections Commission of starting an unlawful process that according to the PSC, is in contravention of the ruling of the CCJ.
The Guyana Elections Commission in a statement of its own on Friday said house-to-house registration is a lawful exercise and preparations for upcoming elections are taking place at the same time.
But the Private Sector Commission, which is upset that the Chief Elections Officer has not been meeting with the body, said a complete revamp of the National Register of Registrants Database in such a relatively short span of time before an election will more than likely “disenfranchise voters”.
The PSC said evidence and experience indicate that you are not going to be able to create a credible voters’ list within a year by scrapping the existing NRRD and creating a new one.
The Opposition PPP believes that the already expired voter’s list should be used for the upcoming elections. The Government has said a new and clean voters list needs to be used to ensure credible elections.
The PSC also issued a call on the Chief Elections Officer to discharge his duty “professionally and objectively and provide information to the public to correct misinformation about the voter’s list and voting process”.
According to the PSC, the country’s commitment to democratic principles, respect for the rule of law and free and fair elections must rest on a truly independent electoral agency.
The PSC said GECOM’s conduct “at this moment in our history will be consequentially long into the future and every employee of GECOM must withstand public scrutiny regarding their impartiality”.
The Chief Elections Officer has not responded to the Private Sector Commission’s letter.
Three current executive members of the Private Sector Commission, including its present Chairman, Captain Gerry Gouevia, are among the names that were put forward twice by the Opposition leader to be considered to head the same Guyana Elections Commission.