Rohee prepared to “Raise Hell” for Free and Fair Elections

Rohee prepared to “Raise Hell” for Free and Fair Elections

General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party, Clement Rohee on Monday praised the work done by field officers of the party who spent the past few weeks checking the Preliminary List of Electors. He told a Monday morning press briefing that thanks to the work of the PPP field officers, the party has made over 2000 claims and over 2000 objections to the Preliminary List of Electors.

He brushed aside complaints made by A Partnership for National Unity that the PPP was objecting to many of its supporters being on the list while claiming that the persons are dead when in fact the persons are alive and well. The PPP General Secretary said while his party has filed objections, the APNU should now provide evidence to show that the many persons are alive and well.

The Opposition APNU has stated that most of the objections made by the PPP to persons being on the list have been made in areas which are known to be Opposition strongholds.

He also used the Monday morning press conference to fire back at the Chairman of the Elections Commission, Dr. Steve Surujbally who last week expressed frustration with party concerns about the Preliminary List of Electors. Surujbally described many of the concerns as “ill-advised”.

Rohee said the Elections Commission does not run for any elections and every political party has the right to voice its concerns about the electoral lists. He said the GECOM Chairman has been showcasing lots of intolerance but the PPP will not be “intimidated”.

“The PPP wishes to state that it will not be intimidated by anyone. GECOM has its responsibilities and it is obligated to investigate reports made by political parties since it is these parties that contest elections and not GECOM”, Rohee said.

The General Secretary of the governing party also said his party was not happy with some of the persons hired by the Elections Commission to work at the various Registration Offices across the country. He accused the elections body of hiring “friends and family” and accused  some of the officials of allowing “questionable transactions” to  go through.

Last week, the Chairman of the Elections Commission Dr. Surujbally also addressed the issue of the names of persons who would have died still being on the voter’s list. The Elections Commission Chairman said that the Commission depends on the report of deaths which is compiled by the General Registrar Office to remove persons from the list because of death. He said that is the only way GECOM would remove a name from the list because of a death. Rohee said it is time for the Elections Commission to look at other ways including “prima facie evidence”.

According to Rohee if it is well-known that someone is dead and “the entire country and world” know that the person is dead, GECOM should not just wait on a death certificate from the General Registrar Office. He said GECOM must change its laws governing that issue and look at other ways.

Mr. Rohee told the media conference that his party is very serious about its concerns and will continue to “raise hell” to ensure that the elections are free and fair.

Guyanese could head to the polls early in the new year as the Opposition parties get ready to pass a no confidence motion in the government. The combined opposition parties hold the majority in the National Assembly.

Filed: 8th September, 2014

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