FLP has raised serious concerns about anomalies in the voter registration process currently underway for the 2006 elections – tantamount to vote rigging.
The Party has lodged complaints with the Electoral Commission and is seeking a fresh start to the registration process.
Labour Leader Mahendra Chaudhry is particularly alarmed at what appears to be a deliberate campaign to disenfranchise voters in Indian communal constituencies by either omitting to register them or registering them incorrectly.
He expressed concern at the huge racial imbalance in the ethnic selection of enumerators, even for constituencies that are predominantly Indian. This is counter to instructions from the Electoral Commission calling for greater ethnic and gender balance in the appointment of enumerators
The following anomalies have so far been exposed in the voter registration process:
- Numerous registration forms have blanks where the voter’s constituency should be marked while many have simply been endorsed as “TDL” – to be decided later.
- In a number of cases disabled or elderly people have been told they are not eligible to register because they were physically unfit to queue up at polling stations
- Voters are being asked to fill in their names in reverse, that is, where the form asks for surname they put in their first name and vice versa
- Voters are being registered in constituencies that do not exist/ or full constituency names are not put in
- Registration slips given to voters have no names on them
- Wrong constituency number is being entered for correctly named constituencies –this will cause confusion
- Cases where open constituency names are left blank
- Houses missed are not getting call back cards
- Voters being registered in wrong constituencies
- Voters living under the same roof are registered in different constituencies
FLP has furnished the Electoral Commission with samples of these discrepancies/errors in the registration process. In view of the high number of anomalies the Labour Party wants the current registration process scrapped and a fresh once to be instituted.
Failure to rectify this could lead to a legal challenge, the Party warned. Chaudhry is meeting with EC chairman Graham Leung to discuss the serious issue.