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It is nothing short of a shame the Government has not allocated funding in this year’s National Budget for a new Voters List. The action suggests it is a deliberate effort by the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) government not to have a new List or further delay the possibility of having one. This is the same party that would like Guyanese to think it cares about democracy when by its budgetary failure it has engaged in action not to make democracy work.
It is important to have a clean Votes List. It is important to electoral democracy to ensure not only every eligible voter is allowed to cast a ballot but that only living voters are allowed to vote and their names on the List. There was more than enough evidence in the National Recount exercise that ballots were cast without proof of eligibility and the dead were said to have voted. For electoral democracy to prevail, or any serious claim made in such regard, Guyana must have a new Voters List that is credible, truly reflective of the voting population and can withstand the rigours of scrutiny.
Every Guyanese and international observers of the Guyana Elections have complained that the Voters List is bloated. The Irfaan Ali government knows this too. No society, except Guyana, has a Voters List where at least 70 percent of the population is of voting age. It is not only an anomaly but highly improbable.
Guyana is supposed to be having Local Government Election sometime this year. The PPP/C knows the Voters List in its present configuration serves them well. They know that List allows for manipulation and non-existent voters voting. The government fully well knows the List is padded and this is the same List that has worked for the party and delivered the so-called victories they misleadingly boast of.
The present Voters List is the List from which they can shout democracy when the List does nothing more than prop up a pseudo-electoral democracy. The PPP/C is running scared. They are afraid of a new List. They succeeded in getting the Court, during the last election, not to have the List updated and a compliant Guyana Elections Commission to halt its updating registration exercise. They have created law to prevent tidying the List and are hiding behind a law because they know the truth and if the truth prevails it would expose the lie.
The truth is the present Voters List is padded, very padded. This padded List worked for the PPP/C in past elections. Their action not to budget to clean up the List, suggests they are afraid what a cleaned List could mean for their electoral chances. Why would they be afraid? They know why.