Guyanese police and soldiers early Saturday morning began voting in general and regional elections, ahead of the country’s civilian population who will go to the polls on May 11, 2015.
Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield told Demerara Waves Online News that all preparations overnight went well for the opening of polls at 66 locations countrywide. He said the ballot boxes and associated voting material “departed well” to all locations.
At Eve Leary, there was a steady stream of policemen at the Officers Mess and the Sports Club.
But General Secretary of the governing People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC), Clement Rohee told Demerara Waves Online News that ballot boxes were delivered late at five or six polling stations in Georgetown and East Bank Demerara and as a result voting started late. He could not immediately say what the impact of that was and said everything else appeared to be going smoothly up to 6:45 AM. “We hope that things go smoothly and I don’t expect real conflict of a significant nature,” he said.
Alliance For Change (AFC) Executive Member, Raphael Trotman said he received no reports of anything hiccups. “There is nothing untoward that is going. We received no report and we are eagerly looking forward to getting through today,” he said.
After the more than 7,000 police, soldiers, prisons personnel and fire fighters would have cast their votes, the ballots would be kept securely at the headquarters of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) until May 11 when they would be mixed with civilian votes and counted.
That is to preserve the confidentiality of the voting patterns of the Joint Services unlike 1992 when they were counted separately and Guyanese knew that security personnel had voted overwhelmingly for the then People’s National Congress (PNC).