Following Friday evening’s discussion on the National Communications Network (NCN) on which Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon appeared with Dr Prem Misir, discussions continued on disenfranchisement of a significant number of Guyanese who were not in possession of their source documents prior to the closure of the Claims and Objections period.
On the panel, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran reiterated that those who have not been able to register due to no fault of their own and who would have made stringent efforts to get registered should be able to do so.
Head of the Presidential Secretariat and Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon was the first to appear a televised panel discussion, on Friday evening, on the National Communications Network (NCN) and reiterated the administration’s stance on the staging of a similar exercise to the recently concluded claims and objections period to cater for the alarmingly large electorate members that have been disenfranchised as Guyana prepares for this year’s National Election.
These discussions seek to present clarifications on the issue; explore what is happening and what should happen and the position of the PPP/C Government. During today’s discussion it was noted that the original intention of the Opposition parties was to have all eligible persons on the list of voters, now they are adopting a different position, that would result in disenfranchisement.
Dr. Anthony said that during the execution of the Claims and Objections exercise by GECOM, which ended on June 12, it was realized that there was a significant number of Guyanese who were not able to register because they were not in possession of a birth certificate at that time.
The Ministers noted that the PPP had lead the struggle for Universal Adult Suffrage, since its inception in the late 1940s.
With regards to persons who were unable to complete the registration process, Dr. Anthony emphasised that after becoming aware of the number of persons who were not registered due to not having the necessary source document (birth certificate) the party brought this to the attention of GECOM and asked about the possibility of the commission finding a way of allowing these persons who have now gotten their birth certificates to get on the list.
Minister Ramsaran pointed out that “the mechanisms are such that the dates for the elections will not have to be pushed further; transparency will be there since the mechanism was tried and used already during the claims and objections period when we were able to garner 45,554 persons for that list. So the same mechanisms will be used.”