The opposition People’s Progressive Party on Monday said it is optimistic about the upcoming local government elections but in the same breath the party is expressing fears that the electoral process could become a victim of fraud.
At his weekly press conference, PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee said the Party remains positive about scoring big at the elections. He said the PPP is also confident of a high voter turnout which would edge out other opponents to give the Party a resounding victory and set it on a path to regaining executive power.
However, Mr. Rohee expressed serious reservations about the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) own readiness to manage and execute free and fair local government polls.
He told reporters that while the PPP is fully prepared for the advanced voting to occur with members of the Disciplined Services, it is disappointed that GECOM has not yet laid over the names of those eligible voters.
According to Rohee, the list was promised to the Party since February 19.
“Ten days later and that commitment can’t be fulfilled, it raises a serious question about transparency at GECOM,” he added.
Mr. Rohee said any attempt to deprive the party of this information could result in an undermining of the electoral process. The PPP is also concerned with the provisions being made for persons without Identification (ID) Cards to vote at the elections and the use of private residence as polling places.
Rohee said when all the PPP concerns are combined and if left unaddressed it could result in a fraudulent process.
He also questioned the ruling APNU+AFC’s silence on some of the same matters. Guyanese will vote in Local Government Elections on March 18 after more than two decades of its absence.
According to the constitution, LGE should be held every three years but this did not happen during the PPP’s 23 years in office. The PPP was voted out of office at the May 2015 general elections. (Kurt Campbell)