Political parties given time to correct lists; will not be barred from contesting LGE – GECOM

The list of voters is posted at various sites across the country (Photo: News Room/March 25, 2023)

That information will be known by April 29 when GECOM gazettes the final approved lists for the local government polls.

“Only when we get to the approved list of candidates, which will be gazetted either Friday or Saturday, that will tell us definitively where political parties, voluntary groups, and individuals will be contesting,” Ward explained.

Some defects could include a candidate not having the requisite number of nominators or where they have the full complement of nominators but the candidate or their backer are not registered in the constituency in question.

This occurs when people relocate but fail to update their records by applying for a transfer to their address at GECOM.

And Ward clarified on Tuesday that candidates will not be barred from contesting once the defects on the lists are corrected.

“Having a defect doesn’t mean you are barred from contesting; in the statutory period you will be notified and given an opportunity to correct the list based on defects,” Ward said.

Another and more serious issue engaging the attention of the seven-member commission is the accusations of fraud against and by the two main political parties – the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) and the main opposition APNU Coalition.

Both parties have accused each other of forging the signatures of candidates and backers.

Last week, General Secretary of the PPP/C, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo said the APNU had submitted lists to only contest in 279 of the 610 constituencies.

And by his calculations, that is roughly 45 per cent of all the constituencies in the country.

The 610 constituencies are part of 80 larger local authority areas. APNU is only contesting in 24 of the 80 local authority area, Jagdeo added.

The PPP/C has submitted lists to contest in all areas. Those figures will differ slightly when GECOM publishes the approved lists.