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PPP registers concerns about security forces’ voting; tight-lipped on stopping declaration of results

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Wednesday complained bitterly about alleged irregularities during voting by the security forces last weekend, and left the door wide open on whether it would move to the High Court to block the declaration of Election results if it feels cheated.

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee did not rule out if that was an option when the question was put to him. “I can’t say that now I don’t want to be that anticipatory …What if we win?,” he said.

“I cant pronounce on that in this stage and time. Everything has to be looked in a context and we will look at the developments as the developments evolve,” he added.

Rohee said his party would examine worst and best case scenarios and “we have to prepare ourselves for any eventuality same way the opposition is doing do. “ You don’t think if the opposition don’t win these elections they will take to the streets?,” he said.

He feared that if there is a repeat of those infractions by GECOM’s staff on May 11, 2015 when civilians are expected to vote  at more than 2,000 polling stations countrywide on Monday, May 11, 2015 the integrity of the entire election could be questioned. “A recurrence of these events on elections day will certainly result in chaos, thereby threatening the integrity of the entire election process,” Rohee said.

Rohee told a news conference that his party agents uncovered a number of discrepancies and violation of election rules.  He said those would be documented and transmitted the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). “The party is extremely concerned that certain issues that , which were documented to GECOM in 2011 and were subsequently discussed with the commission, surfaced once again and in some cases with much more frequency,” he said.

Among the problems identified are that several PPP agents were not allowed to travel in GECOM vehicles to accompany the ballot boxes to ensure that they were not tampered. He said more than 200 persons at various locations voted without identification cards.  To the contrary, he said, only A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) agents were allowed to accompany the boxes.

The PPP alleged that more than nine percent of the voters cast their ballots without identification cards , and were told that they did not have to do so.

He added that 165 of 207 persons at the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) base at Tacama voted without identification cards and 61 at Camp Seweyo. He said 25 percent of ballot agents were not provided with the ballot paper account by GECOM staff at the end of the balloting process. “This record of the ballot envelopes received – used and unused- is an important part of elections management, the absence of which inhibits objective assessment and subsequent allegation of these elections,” he added.

In addition to ballot agents complaining about the poor quality of pencils used, the PPP General Secretary noted that in one instance a member of the Disciplined Services was seated at a polling station and functioned as a GECOM official. At Eve Leary,  he revealed that a Guyana Police Officer ballot officer Ms. Lewi at the Police Sports Club, Eve Leary took the ballot paper out to a vehicle to allow an elector to vote and returned the ballot to the box. He identified the ballot attendant as
Sue Ann Nurse allegedly. “This is a serious breach of GECOM’s established voting procedures and strong action should be taken against this officer,” he said.

At the Brickdam Police Station Canteen, the balloting agent Patricia Crossman allegedly wore an APNU cross-band. “There were several other similar instances  at other ballot stations, revealing that GECOM failed to uphold the law,” said Rohee.