Pro-coalition election commissioners appear softer on house-to-house registration

Pro-coalition election commissioners on Wednesday afternoon emerged from a three-hour meeting, gagged by their new Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, and seemingly softer on their demand for house-to-house registration.

Charles Corbin told reporters that he and colleague commissioners Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman responded to Justice Singh’s questions and “any further comment on these discussions could only be made by the Chairman herself.”

Alexander would only say that “everything was discussed” at the “cordial meeting” when asked whether the now 11-day old house-to-house registration exercise was among the issues discussed. Quizzed on whether he still supported the need for house-to-house registration he responded, “If I still support the need for house-to-house registration? At this time, yes.”

Further questioned on whether his position was likely to change, Alexander said “my view is that there should be sanitisation of the list; sanitation of the National Register of Registrants for the provision of a list that can provide credible elections; that is not likely to change.”

Alexander said house-to-house registration was “so far the method which is on the table”.

The commissioners were also asked whether they preferred to hold on to their position on house-to-house registration if the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) does not agree to extend the life of the parliament by September 18 or if they are willing to consider having a claims and objections period to sanitise the existing register.

“The issue of sanitisation of the list is not a matter in question. At the moment, whenever the issues reach the table, the commissioners will look at all the factors at that point in time and determine what is the best way forward. At the moment, that matter is in progress, being executed, and at the time when we are faced with making a decision, all the factors will be taken into consideration at that time…The Chairman will make a determination of that,” he said.

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