The Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has a planned protest outside the Guyana Election Commission’s, High Street Office, set for Tuesday midday as it continues to raise concerns with the electoral process.
The PPP’s move comes as Guyana gears for local government elections early next year. These elections were last held in 1994.
PPP’s Executive Secretary Zulficar Mustapha announced the move to picket the Commission’s Headquarters’ at Freedom House press conference on Monday.
Mustapha said he is convinced that the Elections Commission is not prepared for the holding of local government elections, which were not held in Guyana for over two decades.
He explained that the PPP received a revised boundary demarcation from GECOM last week, a process that he claims should have been completed before the ongoing Claims and Objections exercise commenced.
“So it seems that while the claims and objections is ongoing they are still fiddling with the Boundaries,” Mustapha added.
The Party had also raised concerns with the ethnic makeup of persons employed by the Commission and used Monday’s press conference to defend its prior statements in the face of mounting criticism from the Minister of Social Cohesion, Amna Ally.
According to Mustapha, the PPP is still pushing for an extension to the ongoing claims and objections exercise. He explained that a large number of persons will be seeking transfers since LGE require people to be in their rightful constituencies before they cast their ballots.
“We told GECOM that more persons need transfer now and want extension to current claims and objections exercise,” he added.
The PPP’s Executive Secretary said its scrutineers are also opposed to GECOM conducting the verification for new registrants and persons seeking transfer on the same day. H
The PPP official said the party will be contacting GECOM officials on this particular issue. Last week Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan announced March 18, 2016 as the LGE date.
GECOM has since given all assurances that it is ready to host local government polls which will be governed by updated legislation.