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Boundary gerrymandering will impact on APNU at local govt elections

Last Updated on Tuesday, 6 June 2023, 20:21 by Denis Chabrol

PNCR Chairman Shurwayne Holder

The People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) said it would not win a majority of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) in the June 12 Local Government Elections (LGE) because several constituency boundaries have been merged to its disadvantage.

“We will not a get an overall victory in terms of the number of NDCs but we will win the major populated areas because they are gerrymandering the boundaries,” Mr Holder, who is the PNCR’s Chairman, told a public meeting at Dartmouth, Essequibo Coast.

He noted that in 2016, APNU had won Mabaruma but now the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) administration has extended that boundary to include an Amerindian community “so that they could win” that area. Similarly, he said the boundaries for two Neighbourhood Councils in the Pomeroon. have been adjusted.

At the same time, he told attendees that APNU was confident in winning Georgetown, Linden, Bartica, New Amsterdam, Mahdia, and the Essequibo Coast councils in Queenstown, Good Hope and Dartmouth because “our support is intact” in those areas.

The High Court last week dismissed a case by APNU Chief Scrutineer, Carol Smith-Joseph in which she had challenged the legality and constitutionality of adjusting the boundaries to its disadvantage.

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire ruled that the Local G0vernment Minister enjoyed the right to determine the boundaries. She said the Court could not concern itself about partisan claims of electoral disadvantage.

Mr Holder told the public meeting that his APNU was confident that the situation would be different for the 2025 general and regional elections for which there would be no concern about boundaries. “They cannot extend the boundary of Guyana. It is one country and the people will vote overwhelmingly for A Partnership for National Unity and a coalition government,” he said.

While PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo said his party has candidates in every constituency, that would not yield votes from each of those areas.

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June 2023