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Guyanese desirous of having a clean voters list are making it their duty to have their voices heard. Every Tuesday demonstrators, from the Opposition, A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), and civic society, are in front of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) headquarters, High Street, in Georgetown chanting for a clean voters list. Protesters are making it clear there should be no elections without a sanitised list.
The protestors are also calling for the resignation of Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh, who is being accused of bias, always siding with the Government-nominated Commissioners, and not seeking to achieve consensus decision-making between both Government and Opposition-nominated Commissioners. Justice Singh distinguishes herself from her predecessors as the only Chairperson with a majority voting record aligned to one side, i.e., the People’s Progressive Party (PPP).
Tuesday is the statutory meeting day for Commissioners. By protesting on this day persons ensure their voices are heard by the Chairperson and Commissioners.
Guyana is preparing to go to Local Government Elections, on March13, 2023 with a Voters List that has seen no significant change to the one used in the 2020 General and Regional Elections. The Preliminary Voter List accounts for about 90 per cent of the entire population, reflecting about 684,300 voters.
Many Guyanese, along with regional and international observers at the last elections have urged efforts be made to sanitise the list and bring it more in line with electoral reality.
President Irfaan Ali, whose party in October 2015, when in the Opposition, had demanded new house-to-house registration exercise, improved biometrics and other electoral reform measures, said the List is not the problem.
As the APNU+AFC, as a coalition or separate, sends mixed signals about their involvement in the Local Government Elections, the president is encouraging the Opposition to participate.
Ali, whose administration has only eight (8) female ministers in 20-person complement, and only 11 females in a 33-seat controlled National Assembly, said he would like to see more women and youth running for local government positions.