With the Guyana Elections Commission talking about being prepared to host Local Government Elections, Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton today said he does not see those elections happening with the current List of Electors, and current Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, rt’d Justice Claudette Singh remaining in place.
The Opposition has long complained that the voters list is padded and the names of persons who are not supposed to be on the list are on the list. At the conclusion of the 2020 General Elections, CARICOM, the OAS and other observer mission had recommended that steps be taken to create a new list of electors.
The Government PPP/C has rubbished the notion that the list is padded, but the Opposition Leader is not letting up in his calls for a new GECOM Chairperson and a new list of electors.
“We do not see elections being held with a bloated list and with Claudette Singh as Chairman and there are many things we can do to put the pressure on the Elections Commission and Claudette Sing but we have first given her the opportunity her resignation as a decent judge who would have served and to recognized that you cannot claim to be independent and on every issue you have voted with the People’s Progressive Party,” Norton said.
In recent months GECOM has started the hiring and training of election staff and supplementary funding was also set aside to elections preparations. The Opposition Leader said he has been engaging the international community on the issue and will continue to mobilize support against any attempt to hold elections if the status quo remains at GECOM.
“When we factor in the support of the public and Civil Society organizations clearly, the PPP stands alone totally isolated on this matter. The Opposition parties are therefore not the only voices calling for a clean voters list,” Norton said.
Earlier this year the Elections Commission carried out a continuous registration exercise as a basis to update the list of electors. Mr. Norton said he is confident when the Commission produces its Preliminary List of Electors, it will show deficiencies.
Local Government elections were last held in Guyana in 2018 and was due last year—but the pandemic and other factors contributed to its postponement.
No date has been set yet for the holding of the elections.