By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The one-week extension granted by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for claims, objections and transfer, to clean up the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE), expires today.
iNews has been informed by a GECOM insider that it expects a substantial amount of objections and claims document to be supplied tomorrow, primarily coming from the governing PPP/C by their field staff. Asked if GECOM expects the other political parties to file objections to the list, the source pointed out that the Parties’ Commissioners on GECOM have not made “strident objections and claims” to the PLE.
Some of the findings regarding problems with the preliminary list of electors unearthed and reportedly submitted to GECOM include:
– 112 persons were not found even though they were listed in a particular electoral division
– at Lot 24 Public Road, Prospect- East Bank of Demerara ten persons were listed on the PLE at this address, this is said to be an empty lot with overgrown bushes and unoccupied for over 8 years
– 122 persons on the PLE are unknown and not found at a Division in Georgetown
– close to 2000 ‘dead persons’ including former President Arthur Chung and the wife of the late President Forbes Burnham, Viola Burnham are on the list
Further GECOM has reportedly admitted that its database has instances of where persons’ particulars are placed on Voters Lists outside of the area in which they are residing.
Parties are also said to have expressed dissatisfaction over employment and training of temporary staff by GECOM without public advertisement, particularly in the hinterland regions.
Meanwhile, in light of these suspected instances of irregularities, calls are being made for a report on the cross matching of finger prints from an international company to be supplied and reviewed.
Both APNU and the AFC have not publicly questioned the accuracy and integrity of the preliminary list of electors.
When contacted today (Sunday August 31), by iNews for a comment on these revelations, GECOM’s Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally indicated that it was an inopportune time to offer comments on electoral matters.
He did promise to engage us on Monday.
However, Deputy Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud explained that in relation to the 112 and the 122 unfound persons they have all been verified to be bonafide electors.
He said in each case there were internal investigations conducted. Persaud said the problem arises from persons changing their address (which GECOM cannot prevent them from doing) and not making an application for transfer (which is not mandatory).
In relation to the alleged 2000 dead persons on the list, the DCEO said GECOM follows an establish procedure when flagging dead person which is to act on reports from the General Register Office (GRO). “We view reports from the GRO as authentic and that is what we use as out basis for flagging dead people,” he said; adding that “I’m sure we will see a problem if we remove persons without the relevant documents.”
He concluded by explaining that in relation to the unoccupied house lot at Prospect, the persons who resided there now lives at a relative two streets away after the house collapsed a year ago.