Peter Wickham’s Comments on Guyana’s Purported Voter’s List are MISGUIDED

Submitted by  Rickford Burke, President, Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID)

Regional political scientist and pollster, Peter Wickham, was quoted in Demerara Waves news on July 14, 2019,  as saying that Guyana’s APNU+AFC coalition government should go to the polls with the current voters which was used in the 2015 when the coalition won. Evidently Peter does not have a sufficiency of knowledge  and information to make an informed judgment on the legality  and acceptability of the purported voters list. Thus, his  pronouncements are therefore misguided in your  for the following reasons.

  1. There is currently no lawful voters list. The list to which you and Guyana’s opposition party, the PPP, have been referring does not exist. It expired on April 30, 2019 by dint of law or legislative fiat.
  2. The law mandates that such voters list be complied by house to house registration of all citizens who are 18 years and over within an eligible date set out by law. The claims and objections period is not for registration. It is mandated by statute to make corrections to the list that has been compiled through house to house registration. However during this period, person who were absent from there homes during the registration process may present themselves to the designated district office to be registered.
  3. Elections Commission officials have acknowledged that the names of thousands of persons who have died remain on the expired list. Possibly over 100,000.
  4. Possibly over 15 thousand young people who turned 18 since the last elections in 2015, and are now eligible to vote, are not on the list. The National Registration Act mandates the government to register the citizens. It doesn’t place the burden on the citizen to go find the relevant office and register or loose their franchise. You should know by now that the opposition is resisting house to house registration because it wishes to suppress the youth vote which comprises 56% of the electorate. Young people will vote against the PPP en bloc
  5. The expired list contains the names of  thousands of persons who have moved abroad and are no longer eligible to vote, unless they return to Guyana, establish residency and register. The list also contains thousands of errors in relation to persons who have relocated within Guyana or have married and changed their names.
  6. The aforementioned demonstrates a list that is unlawful, deeply flawed and bloated, and consequently, unacceptable for credible elections. If the Elections Commission attempts to proceed to elections with said list it will be enjoined by the court from doing so and will encounter significant rebellion from the population.
  7. Finally, Guyanese are the experts on our voters list and our elections. We should be allowed to make our own decisions in this regard. As a political scientist Peter would know best that one cannot make judgments on a matter without first being proficient on the relevant facts. I therefore find his comments appealingly misguided and unenlightened. I hasten to suggest that he becomes more engaged and acquire considerably more facts to make objective and informed commentary on our politics.

14 comments

  • David

    This writer is no where near the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. As you would know!

    So how could it be possible that we could have known this was a problem even before the court judgement.

    This very determination was stated on this blog previously, and again yesterday on a nearby thread.

    More importantly, how could it have been possible for a supposedly professional pollster and political consultant, like Peter Wickham, not to have known this?

    Could you wager a guess?

    And if so, does this not border on malpractice?

    Liked by 1 person

  • False and Misleading statements by “Regional political scientist and pollster, Peter Wickham” can not be trusted!

    Liked by 1 person

  • @Pacha

    We have expressed concern on this blog over the years the distance Wickham should maintain regarding these kinds of matters. He is in danger of mangling his credibility/reputation as a professional pollster.

    Liked by 1 person

  • David

    We recall well. And on some of those occasions this writer stepped in to defend Wickham from your judgement. Maybe, we were misguided in so doing.

    Liked by 1 person

  • The core responsibility of a pollster is to issue polls based on polling data aggregated/compiled based on some ‘acceptable’ method. So much of his mouthings in the regional space seems to be predicated on a desire to be ‘involved’. If this blowers to guess it has to do with padding his profile.

    Like

  • William Skinner

    It should be obvious to all that Wickham has made a conscious decision to promote the policies , politicians and parties he wants in power. He therefore uses his high profile media position to influence political outcomes.
    I have heard him on Brasstacks literally making pure mock sport of the third parties and dismissing them as useless and inferior nuisances.
    He was extremely brutal on Lynette Eastmond. He showed Maria Agard no mercy in her battle with the BLP and castigated her as a political non entity. Amazingly, he is quite fond of Verla Depieza.
    I’m not surprised he has now chosen to immerse himself in an obviously ill informed and bias manner in Guyana.
    Note, I am not questioning his professionalism as s pollster . Wickham now sees himself as a regional political power broker
    and influential power house.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Sir William Skinner

    In these matters you still have a unique insight. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  • “It should be obvious to all that Wickham has made a conscious decision to promote the policies , politicians and parties he wants in power.” The below statement by Mr Burke does suggest the same.

    “You should know by now that the opposition is resisting house to house registration because it wishes to suppress the youth vote which comprises 56% of the electorate. Young people will vote against the PPP en bloc

    He therefore uses his high profile media position to influence political outcomes.”

    The voters on election day determine outcomes not polls or speculative comment

    You should know by now that the opposition is resisting house to house registration because it wishes to suppress the youth vote which comprises 56% of the electorate. Young people will vote against the PPP en bloc

    Like

  • Thankfully, we are past the days of “ever so welcome wait for a call” which echoed from Bridgetown amid persistent complaints about a “Guyanese bench” at the Grantley Adams International Airport in the morning and in turn a suggestion that “Barbados was just beyond the imagination of Guyanese.”

    https://barbadostoday.bb/2019/07/16/bteditorial-westward-ho-guyana-calling/

    Like

  • William Skinner

    Wickham is saying right now on Brasstacks that his life has been threatened regarding his meddling in
    Guyana’s politics.

    Like

  • Peter claims he received a threat to his life over his position on the political crisis in Guyana.

    Like

  • @William

    Thanks for monitoring, just was advised on what you posted.

    Like

  • Sorry to hear Peter Wickham life is being threatened by due to the work done by him in Guyana. I wonder if after this experience he is still in support of open borders where all and sundry from the Caribbean and indeed the world can come into Barbados with little or no hindrance.
    I remembered when Barbadians were concerned with the high influx of non – nationals into Barbados especially those of the Indo-Guyanese extract,this same Peter Wickham cussed Barbadians and called us xenophobic.
    I know a large indo-Guyanese population in Barbados will poise the same problems that Black Guyanese and Black Trinidadians are experiencing in their respective countries.

    Like

  • Would like to hear Bush Tea comment on this topic

    Like

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