President Granger ‘confident’ of credible elections

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According to the Guyana Chronicle, President David Granger is confident that “credible” and “efficient” elections will be conducted as scheduled on March 2, 2020.

The President expressed his views on Friday following a meeting with members of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). President Granger, at that meeting, was accompanied by a few of his ministers.

Speaking in a video statement, the President reflected on the fruitful engagement he had with Chairman of GECOM, Justice (ret’d), Claudette Singh and the six GECOM commissioners.

The engagement, he explained, dealt with two main issues: the first was the readiness of the Elections Commission to deliver credible elections by March 2 and the second was whether the timeline established by GECOM for the conduct of elections can be met.

President Granger highlighted that through the engagement with the chairperson and the commissioners, he received the clear impression that they themselves were satisfied that preparations for elections in March were on-schedule.

While discussing these two main issues, the President also disclosed that there were some minor issues that arose but which had already been dealt with to the satisfaction of the GECOM.

As such, he posited that “The government side is satisfied that Guyana is onstream to have efficient and credible elections on the second of March, 2020.”

Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon, also in the video statement, noted that the Commission has given the government the assurance that it will work assiduously to ensure that the Revised List of Electors (RLE) will be made available by its December 29 deadline.

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon

The production of a credible list, he however noted, requires that due diligence be given to the data acquired from the House-to-House (H2H) registration process.

“As you are aware, we made it very clear that House-to-House registration is important, and so we will not want the data that is collected from such an important exercise to be treated in a casual manner,” Harmon stressed.

Recently, GECOM voted that a team of scrutineers would be working for five days to verify the existence of 16,863 new registrants. This was as a result of the discovery of persons, who were already on the National Register of Registrants Database (NRRDB) being listed as new registrants. The team of scrutineers concluded their work on December 22, 2019.

Some 10,329 registrants were confirmed, while 6,534 of the new-voter registrants were unconfirmed. However, GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Warde, indicated previously that there could be a myriad of reasons why these persons were not verified. Persons not being at home at the time scrutineers and GECOM personnel visited was one possible reason given.

This verification activity is expected to bring closure to GECOM’s preparation of the RLE, which will be the final list published for review before the Official List of Electors (OLE).

With the occurrence of this verification process and with the assurance that elections are on schedule, on Friday, President Granger also issued the proclamation for the dissolution of Parliament and the 10 Regional Democratic Councils on December 30, 2019. According to the Ministry of the Presidency, this dissolution will pave the way for General and Regional Elections on March 2, 2020.

Also, in his video address, the President remarked, “We are satisfied with the work that is taking place now and we feel that the Chairman of the Commission has got her finger on the pulse and will do everything in her ability to ensure that we will have credible elections on the second of March next year.”

He also assured that the government is working in tandem with the Elections Commission to ensure that these credible elections will be conducted in an efficient manner come March next year.

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