Smooth flow as police ranks cast their ballots
Ranks shortly after voting at the Sparendaam Police Station (Cindy Parkinson photo)
Ranks shortly after voting at the Sparendaam Police Station (Cindy Parkinson photo)

By Shamar Meusa, Trina Williams and Indrawattie Natram

SENIOR policemen and women led from the front on Friday as members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) participated in early voting for the much-anticipated Local Government Elections, which will be officially held on June 12.

The various polling stations set up across the country for the police, opened at 06:00 hours sharp, according to the information provided to this publication.
Commissioner of Police (Ag), Clifton Hicken told members of the media at the Police Officers’ Mess Hall, Eve Leary, that he was leading by example.

Holding up his inked finger shortly after he had voted, Hicken said that all commanders were also leading by example in their respective districts.
He indicated that the voting process was smooth and that he expected it to remain that way until the close of poll.

“Why we started this early is because we’re disciplined people and so we want to get back to our normal work; we’re going to finish here soon and so we can continue to police the nation,” he said.

He noted that more than 5,700 ranks were expected to vote throughout the course of the day at the various locations.

One female officer at Eve Leary who asked not to be named told Guyana Chronicle that the process was very quick; she was very pleased with this.

Across the various stations in Georgetown, there were no reports of any incidents occurring at any of the polling stations while ballots were being cast.
Meanwhile, on the East Coast Demerara, the voting process was also said to be smooth.

While proudly displaying their inked finger, officers at the Sparendaam Police Station expressed great joy at participating in the process of exercising their constitutional right to vote.
This publication spoke with a number of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials and senior officers from the aforementioned police station who were on hand to make sure the elections went on without any issues.

Government-appointed GECOM Commissioner, Clement Rohee, after observing the voting process at the Sparendaam location explained that different procedures have been implemented to ensure free and fair elections.

Detective Webster shortly after exiting the polling booth at the Suddie Police Station (Indra Natram photo)

Rohee said that his expectations of the elections were that it “would procced in a very smooth and orderly fashion.”

He did not anticipate any hiccups, having regard to the fact that “the system GECOM has put in place is one that I believe is very efficient and effective.”
Furthermore, he affirmed that given the previous elections and the dramatics that took place then, the commission has incorporated an extra layer of security to guarantee that the process is “transparent as possible.”

Deputy Superintendent of the Sparendaam Police Station, Jermaine Dufu, said that he and the other ranks are positive that the day would proceed as planned.
He remarked: “So far, we’ve been having a smooth process; a few of the ranks have already voted. We don’t expect any of the excitement that [occurred] in the previous elections.”
Over in Region Two, police ranks arrived at their respective polling stations early.

According to Regional Commander Khemraj Shivbaran, there was a smooth flow of voting in the region and no hiccups were recorded.

Shivbaran said that 193 ranks were expected to cast their ballots at three polling stations: 122 at Anna Regina, 50 at Suddie and 21 at Charity.
According to the senior rank, the atmosphere was calm. There was also no evidence of long lines in the region.

Ballot boxes will be returned to GECOM after the voting and will be kept in the custody of the Chief Elections Officer.

The ballots will be sorted according to the Local Authority Area and constituency and will be dispatched to the respective returning officers for intermixing on June 12.


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