The largest party in the APNU+AFC Coalition, the People’s National Congress Reform is fully behind the President’s position that there must be a clean voters list to ensure credible elections.
President David Granger is the Leader of the PNC/Reform, while his Public Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, is the party’s Chairperson.
It was Lawrence who hosted the return of the party’s weekly press conference today and she used the forum to press the party’s case for there to be a new and clean list for upcoming elections.
Guyana could possibly see elections this year following the Caribbean Court of Justice’s validation of the no-confidence motion against the Government.
While the Government has said it will abide by the CCJ’s ruling and has been doing that so far, it has also been making the case for a clean voters list.
At the press conference today, Ms. Lawrence said the APNU+AFC coalition could see better results with a clean list. She is convinced that the coalition could pick up more seats and widen its majority in the Parliament.
“”We believe that if this list was cleansed prior to 2015, we would have been in a better position in the National Assembly so that we could have stave off any Charrandass attack”, Lawrence said, as she made reference to the former Government Member of Parliament who voted against his own government and gave the Opposition the one vote it needed to pass the no-confidence motion.
Lawrence said the Guyana Elections Commission must ensure the elections are free, fair and credible. She said GECOM itself knows that the last voters list, which the Opposition wants to be used again, has several flaws.
According to Lawrence, GECOM carried out two surveys and they themselves recognised that almost 200,000 persons could not be accounted for and within their own possession, they have a significant number of ID cards for persons who they could not find and that says to you and to us that the list is flawed and it is corrupted and as a party, we believe as a party that once this list is clean, we have a very good chance of having not just one seat over the Opposition, but that the number of our seats will increase and so we are calling for the removal of those names that are on the list and you cant find the persons. We are calling for the removal of those who are now deceased, those who would have died at home and those who would have died abroad”.
She said the People’s National Congress knows the workings of the opposition People’s Progressive Party and is aware that it could use its machinery to take advantage of an unclean list. The PNC Chairperson said that should not be allowed and the party will not allow it.
“We know the PPP. We have been dealing with them as a party for sixty plus years and so we know that their machinery in terms of how they can maneuver in its present corrupt form can work in a negative towards us”, she said.
The Opposition has been fighting against house-to-house registration before the next elections, although it did not object to money being allocated for the process before the no-confidence motion was passed.
The Elections Commission has already started the preparation process for house-to-house registration and has already spent over $1 Billion on the process so far.
The PPP is of the view that the no-confidence motion changed all that, but the Government and the parties that make up the coalition maintain that the Commission must ensure credible elections with a clean list.