GECOM to release immigration, registration documents received during national recount to aid ongoing probe – AG

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has agreed to release documents requested by Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Anil Nandlall, related to the national recount of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections. 

The AG had written the elections body requesting immigration and registration documents which were submitted by the then APNU+AFC Government, which claimed that the names of dead and migrant persons were used to vote in the elections. 

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Mohabir Anil Nandlall

During his issues in the news televised programme Tuesday, the AG said the documents will be passed on to the relevant agencies so that the investigation could be launched to verify the “accuracy or lack thereof of the information contained in the documents. To enquire into who authored the documents or who authorised the issuance of the information contained in those documents.”

The former administration had accused the then PPP/C opposition of using the names of persons who were dead and residing outside of Guyana at the time to vote in the elections, a claim vehemently denied by the PPP/C. In fact, the party had found many of those persons who were said to be overseas at the time. Others who were said to be dead also turned up to prove that they were in fact alive. 

The AG said it is now appalling that the opposition commissioners were opposed to his request for the documents, especially when they have been relying on the very allegation in their efforts to question the validity of the polls.

The very people who are peddling the information in that document are now objecting to the document being released so that we can investigate it. These people have no credibility at all,” he said. 

Meanwhile, Minister Nandlall has denied claims being made by the opposition that the government has objected to the removal of the names of dead persons from the Preliminary List of Electors.

“The PPP has always said that the list, persons who are on that list must be removed based upon provisions in the law that relate to removal of persons from the list. In other words, persons must be removed from the list based on the legal grounds for removing them from the list. Death is one of the legal grounds to remove persons from the list. We have never said that we want dead people on the list.”

The elections commission is currently carrying out its claims and objections which will allow Guyanese 18 years and older to make a claim to be included on the list or make corrections to their particulars if already registered. Citizens could also object to the inclusion of any name on the list. 

The Attorney General said the amendments being proposed in the electoral reform will make it mandatory for dead persons to be removed from the list at periodic intervals.

“So once every month, or once within the time specified in the amendments, there must be a collaboration between the General Registrar Office, that is the person who keeps all the death records, there must be a collaboration between that office and GECOM to compare records so that the voter’s list and the national registration database can be adjusted to reflect the removal of dead people from that database and all electoral lists,” AG said. 

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