PRESS RELEASE By the Parliamentary Opposition Parties, PNCR-1G, AFC and GAP-ROAR Friday, May 18, 2007



The Parliamentary Opposition Parties met today, Friday 18 May 2007, and agreed the following:

1. Their agreement with the unanimous decision of the GECOM Commissioners, (at their Statutory meeting, on Tuesday 20 February 2007), that the undertaking of House-to-House Registration is a necessary requirement for the preparation of a clean and acceptable Voters List to be used for the holding of Local Government Elections. The Parties were individually informed and assured by the Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally, during his consultations with them, in January 2007, that GECOM is committed to undertake House-to-House Registration prior to the holding of Local Government Elections;

2. That the Reform of the Local Government System, as recommended by the Joint Task Force on Local Government Reform, including the reform of the Local Government Electoral System, the institution of the new system for Fiscal Transfers and the establishment of the Local Government Commission, should be fully implemented prior to the holding of Local Government Elections;

3. That the Joint Task Force on Local Government Reform should be responsible for overseeing the drafting of the new Local Government Act to ensure that its provisions accurately reflect their recommendations;

4. That they are all disturbed by recently received information that GECOM is reconsidering its commitment on the undertaking of House-to-House Registration, prior to the holding of Local Government Elections. In the circumstances, they would be writing today to Dr Surujbally requesting an urgent meeting with himself and the GECOM Commissioners, on Monday 21 May 2007, to clear the air on the reliability of this information.

5. That, in view of the critical and pivotal role of the Donor Community, for the granting of assistance to the Government of Guyana to discharge its constitutional responsibility for the funding of Elections, they would seek an early meeting with the key members of the Donor Community to ascertain their views on this very sensitive and vital national matter.

The Parliamentary Opposition Parties were represented by Mr. Robert Corbin, MP (Leader of the PNCR-1G and the Opposition), Mr. Khemraj Ramjattan, MP (Leader of the AFC), Mr. Raphael Trotman, MP (Chairman of the AFC), Mr. Keith Scott, MP (Leader of the National Front Alliance and PNCR-1G), Mr. Everall Franklin, MP (GAP-ROAR), Mr. Oscar Clarke (General Secretary, PNCR-1G), Mr. Basil Williams, MP (PNCR-1G and Member of the Joint Task Force on Local Government Reform) and Mr. E. Lance Carberry, MP (PNCR-1G and Opposition Chief Whip).

Georgetown, Guyana.
May 18, 2007