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GECOM revokes controversial claims and objections order and reverts to customary system

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday backed down from a gazetted plan for all eligible electors in the country to take their records to a commission location for verification, and instead reverted to the customary Claims and Objections process.

GECOM Chairman, Justice (Rtd.) Claudette Singh’s National Registration (Residents) Order of September 26 had required all 646, 625 persons, once in Guyana, to go to an elections commission outpost with their registration records before they could have been included in the final voters list.

Concerns were raised by opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) election commissioners that no such decision had ever been taken by the seven-member commission, and by former House Speaker Ralph Ramkarran that the The National Registration (Residents) Order was aimed at flouting the constitution and a recent High Court ruling that the names of persons on the National Register could not be removed and the must be allowed to vote in the area in which they were registered.

Now, the GECOM Chairman has issued a second order titled, as is customary, “National Registration Claims and Objections Order” with a qualifying date of December 31, 2019. The order is for all persons in Guyana who have attained the age of 18 years and for persons whose names appear on the Central Register to make changes or corrections to their particulars and transfers.

Monday’s National Registration Claims and Objections Order revokes the National Registration (Residents) Order.