Local leaders support House-to-House Registration

– criticize others for serving political interest over national interest

DPI, Guyana, Monday, July 29, 2019

Local leaders are speaking out against attempts by the opposition stop a new and credible Voters’ List from being compiled, through GECOM’s House-to-House Registration process. This, they say, is tantamount to suppression of the rights of young eligible voters.

Among them are the respective Mayors of Lethem and Mahdia, His Worship, Gifford Marshall and His Worship, David Adams.

“Over the past couple of days, we have taken to our communities, and as representatives of the people, we have listened to persons on the ground. We have spoken to our constituents and most of the people [want] House-to-House Registration,” Mayor Marshall remarked.

He maintained that House-to-House Registration is the only means to ensuring credible elections are held.

Most of the Hinterland Municipal leaders condemned the actions of some of their colleagues who they said are serving personal and political interests over the interest of the needs of the Guyanese population.

Bartica’s Deputy-Mayor, Arita Embleton, said that young people are eager to get involved.

“Many of my pupils who are not on the list, they will be 18 years this year and if they are not given a chance to get registered and to be on the list, then we are not allowing our young people the right and the freedom to exercise their rights,” she said.

Region 7 Councillor, Kenneth Williams said he is invested in the concerns of the residents of Bartica. “Some are anxious that they might not be on a list of electors who are eligible to vote. They fear that they will not get a chance to make decisions that could affect their future,” Williams explained.

Just last week, the High Court refused to grant a conservatory order to block the registration process from taking place. A well-known attorney drove the request to block the process. Although the order was not granted, the opposition continues to urge its supporters to boycott the House-to-House Registration process.

However, officials from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have pointed out that registration remains a legal requirement that is facilitated under the National Registration Act.

Adding his voice in support of the registration process, Mayor Adams related that shortly after the last ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), citizens of Mahdia approached him expressing interest in the registration process.

“[There was a] need for us to demonstrate in Mahdia since Mahdians wanted a new Voters’ List. We held a demonstration in front of the GECOM office… to let it be known, we were in solidarity of the holding of House-to-House Registration by GECOM,” Mayor Adams added.

The young people in the community of Mahdia are keen on becoming involved in the process, according to the Deputy-Mayor, especially since witnessing the level of development Region 8 has undergone in the last few years.

Sharing a similar view, Neisha Mendonza, Councillor of the Mabaruma Town Council said: “I think that House-to-House Registration will ensue our youths get the opportunity to cast their votes, so we can be involved in the development of our country.”

Also supporting the registration process as the correct move, Ubol Mc Donald Councillor, Lethem Town Council said: “I want to endorse the House-to-House Registration… because even though I’m here [Georgetown] I’ve been receiving several calls. My phone has been going off with people asking when [GECOM staff] will be coming to their constituency. They want to be registered!” she said.

It is a legal requirement once a person attains the age of 14, that they should register to be part of the National List of Registrants.

Persons are urged to have available the relevant documents required for registration and to be on the lookout for GECOM’s Registration Officials in their area.

These documents include an original Birth Certificate, a Valid Passport, Naturalisation Certificate, Certificate of Registration, Adoption Certificate and Deed Poll or Marriage Certificate.

GECOM currently has 29 registration offices throughout the country. All are in operation-mode for the significant House-to-House Registration exercise. This exercise will ensure eligible voters are registered and, more importantly, for a clean list to be developed for General and Regional Elections whenever it is called.

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