As preparations are intensifying for Local Government Elections (LGE), the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is crying foul. It claims that individuals in the Rose Hall constituency are being tricked into signing documents that named them as backers for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) candidates.
Speaking during a press conference at the party’s headquarters, yesterday, PPP Executive Secretary Zulficar Mustapha revealed that some 40 people had signed petitions that were sent to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
The petitions stated that they were unwittingly tricked into signing the documents, not knowing that by affixing their signatures they were backing APNU+AFC candidates. Mustapha alleged that the individuals were approached and told to sign the documents under the guise that community work would be done.
Mustapha alleged that the persons who distributed the documents had claimed that it was in a bid to have the community cleaned and drainage works to be carried out.
“When APNU submitted their list, and when our candidates went to submit their list, GECOM was telling us that there were duplicate signatures. When these people were contacted they went to GECOM’s office at Rose Hall and told them that they never signed any forms for backers.”
Making it clear that such was a forgery, he also alleged that there have been similar reports coming from Regions Two, Three and Nine. PPP General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee, also stated that every legal luminary within the party has been engaged on the issue.
Efforts to contact Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of GECOM, Keith Lowenfield, were futile. However Chairman of GECOM, Dr, Steve Surujbally, who confirmed that reports were made late last week and investigations were carried out by GECOM officials.
Surujbally did express satisfaction that the PPP was playing its part in monitoring the situation as a political party. Surujbally however attested that the Commission goes through everything as if with a ‘fine tooth comb’ and for the most part can detect such anomalies.
LGE will be held in nine Municipalities and 62 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC) throughout the country using proportional representation and first-past-the-post.
Fifty percent of the number of Councillors of each Local Authority will be elected through first past the post, while the other fifty will be elected through Proportional Representation. The election will be noted for the scope it will offer to voluntary groups, political parties and individual candidates to contest for NDC and Municipality seats.
Voluntary groups and political parties can also contest any of the seats under the constituency aspect of the elections. However, the candidate has to be living in the constituency being contested.