[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Elections commission (GECOM) says it will commence the seventh cycle of continuous registration on December 01, 2014.
However, the Commission says its decision to have another cycle done has nothing to do with the calls made by the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic’s (PPP/C) call through its General Secretary, Clement Rohee for this to be done.
“GECOM had a statutory meeting weeks ago and decided that a new Continuous Registration exercise should be undertaken…where persons 14 years or older on a date to be prescribed by GECOM may get registered at the closest GECOM registration office in their area. Guyanese, by place of birth, descent, naturalization or Certificate of Registration, as well as, citizens of Commonwealth countries who are legally resident in Guyana for a period of no less than one year preceding the qualifying date, are also eligible to be registered during the upcoming seventh cycle of Continuous Registration.”
A media release from GECOM said it found Rohee’s demands for continuous registration “quite amusing” since he (Rohee) was well aware that plans were in the pipeline to commence another cycle.
GECOM added that it “continues to watch with deep concern about the inexorable lecturing by the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) General Secretary, Clement Rohee on how the Commission should function.”
The Commission addressed all the concerns of the Party which includes the issues of transparency in the recruitment processes of Election Day staff; the need to conduct a Civic and Voter Education Programme; start a new cycle of Continuous Registration; and the attitude of the Chairman towards the concerns being raised by the PPP.
In addressing each concern, the commission firstly stated that the issue of recruitment, it has embarked on a rigorous training exercise nationwide, in an effort to establish a reservoir of competent Election Day staff it can mobilize on short notice.
“The best and most appropriate candidates were selected and informed of the precise date, time and venue at which training would occur and were invited to attend.”
On the issue of Voter Education Programme, GECOM says it is acutely aware of the need to conduct Civic and Voter Education campaigns before, during and after a new cycle of Continuous Registration, and more so before an Election.
In this regard, “a number of communication channels will be employed by GECOM to ensure that the key messages enshrined in its Civic and Voter Education programme are communicated efficiently and effectively to all key stakeholders, resulting in greater voter intelligence and understanding.”
GECOM reiterated that it has no knowledge of indelible ink being stolen or missing.
“Regarding the issue of the missing tanks, GECOM would like to inform all concerned that the matter is currently in hands of the Guyana Police Force which is conducting a thorough investigation.”
The statement added that “GECOM’s Chairman takes umbrage to the PPP stating, “…that instead of focusing on the concerns and loop holes (sic) that exist, Dr. Surujbally is taking the approach to brush aside issues of concern and issuing statements full of rhetoric. GECOM calls on the PPP to withdraw that statement as it inaccurately represents the unequivocal professionalism of its Chairman and the Commission he represents.”