GECOM to hold public hearings for 13,000 objections

By Kaieteur News,

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM)’s period for making Objections to names on the Preliminary List of Electors and the House to House data has ended, with the body having received about 13,000 of them, according to two Commissioners.
Now, it is time for the Secretariat to complete the hearings for the processing of those objections.

Commissioner Sase Gunraj said yesterday that there have been particularly high numbers in that regard at GECOM’s Mahaicony and Fort Wellington offices. Kaieteur News had heard from the Commissioners that an alarming number of objections had also come out of Region Nine.
Later, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said that the objections coming out of Region Nine were in large part filed by Opposition scrutinizers, and that many of those objections were eventually withdrawn because most of the objections turned out to be deaths. Hence, GECOM would have to liaise with the General Registrar’s Office (GRO) to have deceased persons removed from the list after their death certificates are verified.

The opposition has also raised another matter with a claim of a large number of unsubstantiated objections being made by the APNU+AFC coalition in Region Five. The Opposition claims that GECOM has received over 3000 objections in that region, including almost 500 from the Indigenous settlement, Moraikabai in the Mahaicony River. It also claims that two hearings have been suspended in Region Five due to lack of supporting evidence from the coalition. The Secretariat has not yet publicly commented on this matter.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander told reporters yesterday that there will be hearings for all of the objections, as part of a transparent process to make sure that the complainants provide sufficient proof of their claims.

The only persons who were allowed to make objections were electors listed in the same divisional list in which the person being objected to is listed, or by accredited scrutineers of political parties, provided that any such scrutineer has monitoring responsibilities for the division in which the persons being objected to are listed.

As the Claims and Objections exercise is over, GECOM is expected to start the preparation of the Revised List of Electors (RLE). As objections are verified, they will be taken off of the list. The Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, has until December 28, 2019, to edit that list.

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