first_imgThe People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has come out bashing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), for its move to share the confidential details of registrants with two Government Ministries.Party General Secretary Clement Rohee on Monday said the PPP was very much astonished and concerned over GECOM’s move to share its database, including confidential details of registrants, with the Education Ministry and the Human Services and Social Security Ministry.According to him, this was the first time this has happened since the elections body was first established.“The justification provided by GECOM’s Chairman, Steve Surujbally, and the representatives of the [A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change]APNU/AFC are spurious and creates grounds for suspicion. Electoral skulduggery facilitated by the APNU/AFC and Mr Surujbally is once again in the making,” Rohee told Journalists at the Party’s weekly press conference.He said the use of linkages between GECOM’s and the Education Ministry’s public relations programmes to deceive GECOM to share its database with the Ministry was “fraught with unimaginable implications for free and fair elections in Guyana”.Further, he said, the justification to share GECOM’s database with the Human Services and Social Security Ministry in order for that Ministry to rectify the names and addresses of pensioners as well as to assist in deleting names of pensioners “smacks” of deep suspicion that GECOM’s database could be used for other sinister electoral purposes.“In any event, sharing of GECOM’s database with either of these two Ministries is unnecessary and uncalled for since both Ministries have the institutional capacity to rectify their respective institutional deficiencies.”The Party is of the strong view that the nation must be consulted in respect to the unsolicited release of confidential personal data of citizens captured in the National Register of Registrants (NRR) to Government agencies and departments, a practice that has no precedent in Guyana.“The PPP views as absolutely necessary the need to validate the legality of GECOM sharing its database with Government agencies such as the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.”According to Rohee, GECOM was again wrong when it decided to accept “source documents” in the form of late registration birth certificates presented to Registration Offices by applicants who are primarily middle-aged persons.The Party, he said, views this decision as “dripping with suspicion” and recalls the strong criticisms expressed by the Party in respect to the efficacy of a Department of Citizenship, under the Ministry of the Presidency, which many view as part of a rigging machinery established primarily to issue birth certificates to underage persons and as well as to middle-aged persons as is currently being done.Rohee said the Party has denounced the practice and has demanded an immediate halt to the “electoral travesty” which is laying the basis for a padded voters’ list favourable to the APNU/AFC.“The Party takes this opportunity to alert both the donor and diplomatic communities to these sordid and unsavoury developments,” Rohee said.The third decision by GECOM which the PPP wishes to make public is the breach of an obligation made by the Chairman of GECOM at a meeting held with a PPP delegation on April 21, 2016.According to Rohee, at that meeting, GECOM Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally had committed to providing written answers to a number of questions raised by the General Secretary of the Party.“The Party is reliably informed that Mr Surujbally has reconsidered his commitment and did not see the necessity to write the PPP/C. This shameless decision by Surujbally flies in the face of transparency and is nothing but a clear manifestation of contemptuousness and disrespect towards the PPP, a major stakeholder in the electoral process in Guyana.”Rohee said following its meeting with GECOM, the Party avoided any reference whatsoever to matters which Dr Surujbally had undertaken to respond to in writing.“Mr Surujbally’s lack of scruples in this particular matter strengthens the suspicion of the PPP about his Bollers-type anti-PPP role in the May 2015 General and Regional Elections which reveals his hands to be dirty with fraud,” he added.Rohee said the PPP would continue to “expose Mr Surujbally’s cohabitation with his APNU/AFC Commissioners to deny the supporters of the PPP/C their legitimate right to free and fair elections in this country.”last_img

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