THE People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has said it is fully prepared for the advance voting by members of the Disciplined Forces on March 8 in the Local Government Elections (LGE) polls but is concerned that several issues it had raised have not been addressed by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).Speaking at the party’s weekly press briefing Monday, General Secretary Clement Rohee said the PPP is yet to receive the list of the members of the Disciplined Forces which was promised to be delivered on February 19.
According to Rohee, this commitment was made by GECOM’s Chairman, Dr Steve Surujbally during a meeting with a PPP delegation and the Commission on February 9.
“It is now 10 days since this commitment was given to the PPP yet the commitment has not been fulfilled. This delay raises once again questions with respect to transparency and efficiency of GECOM who is responsible for supervising and conducting free and fair elections in Guyana,” said Rohee, reading from a prepared statement.
He noted that the non-provision of the list of voters who are members of the Disciplined Forces will make it difficult for the party to carry-out the necessary checks and verifications prior to March 8 in Local Authority Areas (LAAs) where PPP candidates will be contesting.
“The PPP wishes to remind that deprivation of the lists only serve to undermine confidence in the electoral process and can in the final analysis bring into question the credibility of the results of the elections,” Rohee said.
Meanwhile, he also reiterated the PPP’s concerns as it relates to assurances given to have representatives of the party accompanying the ballot boxes to the place of storage and other logistical arrangements.
“The party calls on GECOM to invite all contesting parties, individuals and groups to a comprehensive briefing session with GECOM officials where information will be provided with respect to the logistical and other arrangements related to the elections on March 8th and 18th 2016 respectively – a date and time for such a meeting needs be decided on quickly and communicated immediately to the parties, individuals and groups.”
In addition, the PPP said it is concerned that GECOM is allowing persons without ID Cards to vote.
“There appears to be a contradiction between what the law allows and what has been the practice. It makes absolutely no sense for a person to have been denied an ID card because he or she had no source document, particularly a Birth Certificate and, at the end of the day, having been subjected to a royal run-around only to be told that the ID Card is not necessary by law to allow the elector to cast his or her vote,” Rohee said.
The party is also concerned about the use of private residences as ballot/polling stations for the March 8 and 18 elections.