The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has postponed “until further notice” the December 12 Nomination Day for the Local Government Elections (LGE).
A GECOM statement said this decision was made at a special meeting of the Commission on Thursday held to “deliberate on a proposal submitted by the Chief Election Officer, Vishnu Persaud to conduct an exercise to correct the Registers of Voters for Local Government Elections …under the Local Authorities (Elections) Act”.
“Subject to further deliberations on this matter, which has been deemed necessary by the Commission, information on the way forward would be shared, in a timely manner, with all stakeholders,” the statement said.
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The GECOM announcement followed a move by the opposition coalition, A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) asking the High Court to scrap the voters list to be used in the March 2023 LGE.
In the application filed by Chief Scrutineer of the APNU+AFC, Carol Smith-Joseph, against GECOM, Persaud and the Attorney General, Anil Nandlall, the Opposition is seeking a total of 14 declarations and four orders intended to nullify the preliminary List and give rise to a new register of voters.
Joseph, through her attorney, Senior Counsel, Roysdale Forde, is asking the High Court to declare that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) acted unlawfully when it opted not to compile the Preliminary List of Voters for the Local Elections in accordance with the Local Authorities (Elections) Act as amended by Act No. 15 of 2015.
In addition, she is asking the HIGH Court to rule that GECOM is required to act in accordance with Section 11 of the Local Authorities (Election) Act in compiling the Preliminary List of Voters, and further that it is legally required to prepare a Register of Voters for use at Elections for Local Authority Areas in accordance with Sections 12, 13, 14, 20, 22 and 23.
Joseph said failure to comply with the legislation would render the Register of Voters for Local Government Elections null, void and of no legal effect.
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