PRESS RELEASE ON ELECTORAL MATTERS People's National Congress Reform Congress Place, Sophia December 6, 2004




The People’s National Congress Reform held its General Council on Saturday, 4th December, 2004. At that General Council the leadership of the Party reported to General Council members, from across the country on the party’s activities since the 14th Biennial Congress. Among the matters reported on were electoral matters.

The General Council was updated on the Party’s position with regard to GECOM’s preparations for regional and national elections which are constitutionally due by March 2006. It was reported that the Party continued to co-operate with GECOM in its efforts to contribute to consensus building and the resolution of matters which are essential to GECOM’s preparation for elections. Among those matters are: the creation of a new register of registrants from which the voters list could be extracted; the introduction of a system of continuous registration; and the introduction of additional biometric features to the registration process as the basis for preventing multiple registration and multiple voting.

In view of the problems of dislocation of voters on the voters list which occurred at the 2001, elections and the absence of any plausible explanations for those occurances; and in view of the apprehension which GECOM’s IT Manager expressed about the data base and the attendant software applications including the MIDI system, for the printing of ID cards, which were used for the 2001 elections; and in addition to the universal practices to introduce continuous registration on a foundation of completely new registration, the General Council concluded that a house-to-house verification of the persons who are eligible for registration and a compilation of a new register of registrants from the documentation generated by the exercise is the only acceptable way to ensure that a voters list of an acceptable standard is generated

The inclusion of multi finger prints which could be cross referenced was also determined to be an essential feature for an electoral system in Guyana if multiple registration and possible multiple voting is to obliterated. The General Council therefore endorsed the need for the introduction of new biometric features. That, coupled with continuous registration comprise the tripod upon which the General Council felt the electoral machinery for 2006 should be built.

The General Council noted that the PPP/C while mouthing support for biometrics and continuous registration has specified the need to continue with the old data base; the MIDI system, and the poorly done photographs and finger prints of 2001 as the biometric features. In that regard the General Council unanimously passed a resolution mandating the Leader and Central Executive of the Party to resolutely pursue the realisation of a new register of registrants; the introduction of new biometric features; and the implementation of continuous registration as essential prerequisites for the conduct of elections of an acceptable standard in 2006. See motion attached.


PEOFPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
CONGRESS PLACE
SOPHIA.
December 6, 2004.

PEOPLE’S NATIONAL CONGRESS REFORM
GENERAL COUNCIL 4TH DECEMBER 2004

MOTION

Whereas Regional and National Elections are constitutionally due to be held no later than March 2006, and

Whereas it was agreed by the various stakeholders that additional biometric features and continuous registration should be introduced as essential features of Guyana’s electoral system before the elections of 2006.

And whereas the database (national register of registrants) and the software applications which were used by the Guyana Elections Commission for the 2001 elections have been determined to be unreliable for the production of a voters’ list of an acceptable standard.

And whereas GECOM’s Information Technology Manager report, among other reports, recommends that a new national register of registrants should be compiled.

And whereas it is universal practice for the introduction of continuous registration to be preceded by the compilation of a new national register of registrants.

Be it resolved that the General Council of the People’s National Congress Reform mandates the Leader and Executive of the People’s National Congress Reform to work with GECOM and all stakeholders to ensure:-
i) the implementation of multiple finger printing and the facility for cross
referencing the finger prints of the registrants

ii) the introduction of continuous registration as proposed by GECOM’s
concept paper on continuous registration and

iii) the creation of a new national register of registrants on the basis of a
house-to-house verification of those who are to be entered on the
national register of registrants.

Be it further resolved that this General Council mandates the Leader and Executive of the Party to regard the introduction of the new biometrics features; continuous registration and the creation of a new national register of registrants as essential prerequisites for the holding of the regional and national elections of 2006.


People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
December 6, 2004