The Elections and Boundaries will send a report on its preparedness for the general election to the Prime Minister within two weeks— but non-nationals including Venezuelans cannot vote in Local Government Elections unless they're TTT citizens.
Such information was conveyed to a team from the Opposition UNC which met with the EBC Board and EBC Chief Elections Officer Fern Narcis.
UNC chairman Peter Kanhai headed the UNC team including MPs Bhoe Tewarie, UNC senator Wade Mark and others.
The UNC had requested a meeting with the EBC to discuss overall election preparedness, Kanhai said.
Local Government polls are due this year and general election, next year.
Following the meeting, Kanhai told the T&T Guardian that both sides discussed a wide variety of issues which UNC had concerns about including on the electoral list, new registrants, accuracy of lists, problems with non-nationals voting and other issues.
Kanhai said EBC's team was asked about reports which the commission usually does ahead of elections. He said UNC's team was told by the EBC that a report on general election- regarding EBC's preparedness and other issues - will be sent to Prime Minister Keith Rowley and Speaker of the House of Representatives Bridgid Annisette-George within two weeks.
Such reports are usually tabled in Parliament by the Government, he noted.
Kanhai said it was learned that the EBC's report on Local Government polls was sent to the Local Government Minister since 2017.
Kanhai said UNC's parliamentary representatives will be asking questions about that.
Kanhai said UNC's team was told the current voter electoral list stands at approximately 1.000026 (million) and people are registering all the time. On verification of new registrants, the UNC was assured EBC follows up on information where queries arise.
He said UNC's queries on voter registration included about non-nationals including Venezuelans. He said the latter aspect was raised following media reports on the possibility of Venezuelans being given some sort of voter registration card or ID card.
Kanhai said, "But the EBC said ID cards can only be issued to people within the ambit of the Representation of the Peoples' Act including being a T&T citizen and living here for a period of time. So people have to meet certain criteria - including having the necessary documentation from Immigration,"
Kanhai said the UNC will continue having meetings with the EBC on election matters.
Reporter: Gail Alexander