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PPP urges zero tolerance on election irregularities

Former President Bharrat Jagdeo (in blue shirt) addressing a PPP Civic public meeting at Eccles, East Babk Demerara.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) Tuesday night vowed that it would not tolerate any irregularities at the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections that could see it being cheated out of retaining power.

“Let me make it clear. We not taking that sh…We not taking it because every vote matters and the last elections we saw the consequences of that. We lost the majority in parliament by less than six thousand votes and I am sure that they stuffed more than six thousand votes in those ballot boxes,” former President Bharrat Jagdeo told about 1,000 persons at a public meeting held at Eccles, East Bank Demerara.

The PPP hopes to retain executive office for the sixth consecutive time since 1992.

Jagdeo sought to justify his earlier statements on the campaign trail that ballot boxes were stuffed at the November 2011 general elections. He explained that statistically, the opposition’s voter turn-out national average was just about 70-odd percent compared to 100 percent in several opposition strongholds such as Bare Root and parts of Buxton where the PPPC did not have any polling agents. “It could be only one thing- that the boxes were stuffed,” he said.

Assertions by Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Dr. Steve Surujbally that ballot box stuffing were a figment of Jagdeo’s imagination did not go down well with the former Guyanese leader. “Every time the PPP raises a concern, he comes out and speak about it. Whn the PNC (Peoples National Congress), he cowers and he tries to satisfy them,” he said. Jagdeo had preferred the Commission Chairman to examine unusual turnouts because a number of the Presiding Officers might have colluded with the opposition.

He said it would be key for international observers and “strong Presiding Officers to “sit in those (polling) stations and fight off any attempt to rig these elections, any attempt to cheat.”

Jagdeo urged supporters to volunteer their services to take people to polling stations to vote and also visit opposition strongholds. “We can’t be timid. If we are timid, what we have will be snatched away from us,” he said.

Jagdeo reiterated that the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) appeared to be setting the stage for mischief after  defeat by claiming that all elections from 1992 to 2011 have been rigged and that the voters’ list was “dirty.” “The only conclusion that I can come up with is that they are preparing their base for a defeat and preparing them for a defeat in a way that doesn’t say if we lose the elections, let’s accept the results and let’s move on; preparing them to say we have cheated and therefore they need to come on the streets,” he said.

Urging supporters to go out in large numbers to vote for the PPPC, Jagdeo expressed cautious optimism that his party could win on its track record of development and wealth creation.