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The Representation of the People (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ROPA) provides another example of the PPPC attempting to deflect the true intent for the introduction of this piece of legislation.
In the first place it contains draconian provisions (to borrow their term) which have preoccupied the critics. Also, it refers to a 1980 Order to premise its division of the PNCR stronghold, Region 4, into four (4) sub-districts. This is to convey to any PNCR supporter that such divisions were done under a PNCR government and perhaps pre-empt any protest.
The truth is that in 1980 when the National Assembly Elections (Constitution of Polling Districts) Order No. 71 of 1980 was made, there were no Geographical Constituencies (GC) in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
Thus one has to look at Article 160 (2) of the Constitution which makes provision for the creation of GC and election of members therein as Parliament may prescribe. Article 160 (2) was inserted into the Constitution in 2000 as a product of the Constitutional Reform Process. There was no provision for further subdivision of a GC by Article 160 (2) as aforesaid.
Parliament prescribed Section 11A which was inserted into the Representation of the People Act Chapter 1:03 (ROPA) and determined ten (10) GC for Guyana with no provision for any further divisions into sub-districts.
We must return to the Constitutional Reform Process to complete this hybrid system of GC and top up seats.
The PPP/C however does not want Constitutional Reform.