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APNU+AFC urge supporters to guard against rigging

Inset: APNU Vice Chairman, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine addressing an opposition coalition rally on Saturday at Damon Square, Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast.

Supporters of Guyana’s opposition coalition have been urged to be vigilant during balloting and the counting of votes at next month’s general and regional elections.

Issuing the call on Saturday was A Partnership for National Unity’s (APNU) Vice Chairman, Dr. Rupert Roopnaraine at the coalition’s rally at Damon Square, Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast.

“For us in APNU, we have to recognise that after the people vote we have to protect the vote because we are dealing with a desperate band. All things are possible so when we cast that ballot on May 11 let us ensure that we make arrangements to secure every single ballot station and every single ballot box in the land because the revolution must succeed,” said Roopnaraine whose Working People’s Alliance (WPA) is a member of APNU.

Well-placed sources familiar with the electoral machinery have told Demerara Waves that rigging is possible in remote locations where there are few or no polling agents representing one or another political party. The rigging entails facilitating a small number of voting on behalf of the names of deceased or absent persons. The source explained that accumulatively, that impacts on the entire outcome of the polls.

Demerara Waves Online News was told that plans by APNU to deploy a large number of ex soldiers across the country to monitor voting at the November 2011 election had flopped.

Roopnaraine told the largest multi-ethnic turnout at an opposition rally to date that they must go out in their thousands on May 11, 2015 to vote for the coalition, which is made up APNU and the Alliance For Change (AFC) , and help repair the “wreckage” and clean up the “governance slum” created by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) during the past 23 years.

“Let us make May the 11th the day reckoning. We are the many. They are the few. We see this in the way in which the wealth of the country is presently distributed- a handful of oligarchs who are controlling the wealth while the vast majority must go out but the vast majority has this weapon in their hands because on May 11 we the sufferers out-number the oligarchs,” he added.

Reflecting on a previous effort by late PPP co-founder Dr. Cheddi Jagan in 1977 to establish a Government of National Unity, Roopnaraine accused the incumbent administration of being obsessed with control rather than national unity. “The task of reconstruction is going to be an uphill and enormous task,” he said. “The PPP is the greatest obstacle to national unity,” he said.

While Roopnaraine said the PPP would be left out of a Government of National Unity because it was interested only in one-party rule and dictatorship, he assured that well-meaning members of that party would be included. “Let us invite into the Government of National Unity the few good and decent people inside the PPP who want to come and help us to build Guyana,” he said.

The PPPC has, however, boasted that it has played a major role in the restoration of democracy, the establishment of constitutionally required rights commissions, the protection and promotion of media freedoms, ensuring macro-economic stability and years of successive economic growth, increased access to housing, and improved health and education.