Nandlall concerned over 91,000 changes being made to RLE

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall

Former Attorney General Anil Nandlall has expressed concerns over the 91,000 changes being made to the Revised List of Electors by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

See full statement:

The news that GECOM plans to make ninety-one (91) thousand alterations to the “addresses” of the persons on the Revised Voters List (RVL), after the end of the statutorily provided processes of public scrutiny, must have shocked the conscience of every right thinking Guyanese.

The basis GECOM is using to do so is even more mesmerising. It is the data generated from the incredible Houses-to-House Registration Exercise, commenced by an illegally appointed chairman of GECOM, which GECOM itself aborted.

As have been repeatedly stated, this data was never the subject of a Claims and Objections Exercise which would have showcased it for public scrutiny and, to date, it remains unverified.

I have made the point repeatedly, that elections is a statutory process which requires strict compliance. This process provides adequate mechanisms of safeguards which protect the process. In this respect, Guyana is no different from the rest of the Commonwealth.

When the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) was published and posted around the country, the law permitted, through the Claims and Objections Exercise, the opportunity for persons to inspect the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE) to ensure that the information it contains, in relation to them, are correct and if not, an opportunity was offered for the necessary corrections to be made.

It is significant to note that the Claims and Objections Exercise yielded a total of less than seven (7) thousand changes to the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). The law requires these changes to be effected after which the Revised Voters List (RVL) is produced which ought to have captured these changes.

There is simply no provision in the law which allows for these ninety-one (91) thousand changes to take place.

To do so would be ultra vires, unlawful and illegal. Moreover, it is outright dangerous to facilitate this now, since, there is no opportunity for anyone to examine what these changes are before they are incorporated into the Official List of Electors (OLE).

For example, on the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE), I am registered to vote at a Primary School in Campbellville, Georgetown. I do not know whether I am one of those ninety-one (91) thousand changes. I will only know that when the Official List of Electors (OLE) is published. And if on the Official List of Electors (OLE) my address is now changed to Timbuktu, I will have no opportunity of correcting that error and I will not be able to vote.

Just imagine if this happens to, not ninety-one (91) thousand persons, but just 50% of that- the mayhem that will result.