GECOM on track with election preparations…

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President expected to be presented with OLE on Monday
THE Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has earmarked Monday as the date to present President Bharrat Jagdeo with the Official List of Electors, or the final voter’s list, according to Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Vishnu Persaud.
Once an acceptable OLE is finalized, it forms the basis for the staging of elections.
The main objective of the preparation of the list of electors is to produce an acceptable Official List of Electors that contains the names of all eligible persons (i.e., persons who would attain the age of eighteen years by a stipulated date) who can vote in an election. Such list/s has to withstand public scrutiny in terms of the details of all electors being listed without duplication.
The Official List of Electors (OLE) contains the names of all registered voters in alphabetical order according to surname. An elector’s name must appear on the OLE in order for him/her to vote.

ON TRACK
The Elections Commission, Persaud says, is on track for the target ready date of November 14th this year.
“Elections constitutionally have to be held before December 28th and we have set November 14th as the date when we will be ready. Our work plan is a work in progress that is constantly under review, but as of now we are on track,” Persaud said.
He explained that constitutionally, the Head of State is responsible for setting the date for the elections, an announcement that must be made a month ahead of the polling day itself.
Persaud said, “GECOM’s responsibility is being ready.”
The Constitution and the Representation of the People Act makes provisions for the election of members of the National Assembly (unicameral legislature) under a system of Proportional Representation.
A total of 17 political parties are expected to contest this year’s elections, the three major players being the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the smaller Alliance For Change (AFC).
The National Assembly has a total of sixty five (65) members. Twenty five are elected from the ten (10) geographical constituencies and forty (40) are awarded at the national level on the basis of block votes secured.
Seats are reserved specifically for women (gender) as prescribed by the Elections Laws (Amendment) Act. Under gender representation, 33% of the seats of the national top-up list is reserved for women. The Elections Laws (Amendment) Act No. 15 of 2000 provides for each party’s national top-up list to have a minimum of one-third females of the total number of persons on the list of each respective party.
Seats are awarded to the political parties contesting the elections on the basis of an Electoral Quota – the total number of valid votes cast divided by the number of seats contested determines seat allocation as provided for by Elections Laws (Amendment) Act.