The Working People’s Alliance (WPA), which has already indicated that it will not be participating in the upcoming local government elections, is now calling on citizens to boycott the elections.
At a press conference this morning, WPA Executive Member, Tacuma Ogunseye, said the Local Government Elections are a “political entrapment” given the Government’s domination at the level of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), its refusal to support the use of biometrics at the place of poll, and the failure to ensure a clean voters list is in place ahead of the elections.
“We believe that they have set up a path to the next elections. When they finish rigging the Local Government Elections, they will rig the constitutional reform process because at the end of the day, in that process, whatever you say, you say, but the Government has the final say. And then they will rig the national elections,” Mr Ogunseye contended.
The WPA Executive Member said instead of casting their votes at the Local Government Elections, Guyanese should turn the 12th of June into a day of “resistance”.
WPA Executive Member, Dr David Hinds said to have such a resistance will be nothing new to Guyana as he referenced to 1978 when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) together with the WPA and other civil society organizations called on Guyanese to boycott the Constitutional Referendum.
Dr Hinds also made it clear that the WPA is not against elections, as they form a critical part of a democratic society.
But he said, the mere process of conducting an election is not sufficient.
“Of course, we are not contesting the Local Government Elections but we want to make it very clear that we are not against elections. We are not against elections as part of the democratic process but we feel elections by themselves are not akin to democracy. Elections are democratic procedure. Democracies are tested by the substance of the governance. You can be democratically elected, meaning a free and fair elections but how do you use that election to govern? Are you going into people’s villages and rather than dialogue with them you are dismantling their homes? Are you distributing the resources of the state in an equitable manner?” Dr Hinds reasoned.
Hinds said the WPA is prepared to contest elections independently or together with its partners once the elections meet the test of fairness. Like Mr Ogunseye, he contended that currently the electoral list is bloated with more than 200,000 names, and is a recipe for electoral fraud.
To date, the Alliance for Change (AFC) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) have also expressed grave concern over the credibility of the list. The AFC has also indicated that it will not contest the Local Elections while APNU has offered no clear indication on its next step, although it has filed all documentation to participate.
The WPA formed part of the APNU coalition, but stepped away from the partnership just after the controversial 2020 national elections.
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