The Bartica Independent Green Alliance (BIGA) was completely wiped out by the governing APNU+AFC coalition at yesterday’s local government elections.
This is according to results from six of the nine constituencies that were available up to press time. The results showed BIGA’s first-past-the-post candidates gaining 265 of the votes cast, compared to 1,465 votes gained by APNU+AFC.
BIGA, which is made up of candidates who have had ties to both APNU+AFC and the PPP/C—the two main political groupings in the country—had been expected to garner significant support from the coalition base in the community.
These voters were expected to follow former PNCR Chairman of Region Seven (Cuyuni/ Mazaruni), Holbert Knights but they did not.
President David Granger is reported to have offered the members of the group an opportunity to join the coalition but he was refused.
As a result, there were increasingly acrimonious exchanges between the group and the ruling coalition, which two weekends ago sent a high-level delegation to Bartica headed by President Granger. This visit was officially to hand out a bus and bicycles under the President’s ‘Five Bs’ education programme but Granger and his ministers later participated in a meeting, which BIGA said was a political rally, during which there were calls for the vote not to be split.
Knights had claimed that members of the coalition in Bartica had been attempting to intimidate his group. The claim was denied.
“I have no idea if they are threatened and consider us a significant force to be reckoned with but over the past weeks we have ministers campaigning against us and APNU, deliberately and directly, telling people not to vote for us…they are even calling us the opposition,” Knights complained to Stabroek News last week.