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PPPC asks observers to focus on list of potential trouble spots

PPPC supporters at their party’s rally held at the Lusignan market tarmac, East Coast Demerara.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) Saturday night disclosed that it has asked international observers to focus on several potentially troublesome polling stations, fearful of a repeat of alleged ballot-stuffing in opposition strongholds in Monday’s general elections.

Former President, Bharrat Jagdeo said the polling stations are in several places including Lichfield, Hopetown, Belladrum , New Amsterdam Multilateral School and South Georgetown,

“We have shared with the observers even today…we shared with the observers a list of polling stations where some ninety-five to a hundred percent of the people voted  which was near impossible,” he told  thousands of attendees at a PPPC last lap rally at the Lusignan Market tarmac.

Going all out to regain its majority in the 65-seat National Assembly, having lost it by one seat in the November 2011 general and regional elections, Jagdeo stressed the importance of the observers being vigilant on polling day. “We asked them to go to those polling stations because if we can block them stealing, the majority will even be greater come Monday,” he said.

The elections are being observed by the Organisation of American States (OAS), Caribbean Community (Caricom), Commonwealth, Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU) and the Private Sector Commission (PSC).

Jagdeo said the PPP has asked the police to ensure that the ballot boxes and polling stations are protected, and that acts of hooliganism are punished. The incumbent party, seeking a sixth straight term in the most hotly contested elections since Independence in 1966,  has asked the Guyana Elections Commission to publish the laws and offences for the benefit of polling agents and officials of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as well as the wider public.

“We also urged them also to watch out for the manipulations that will take place in the period after 4:30 because there may be attempts to snatch the ballot boxes,” said Jagdeo. There are 2,229 polling stations and 570,000 registered voters.

President Donald Ramotar told party faithful of the PPPC’s historic struggle for free and fair elections in the 1970s and 1980s. “We cannot allow our democracy to be ever undermined again because we have seen that we cannot have sustained social and economic development in our country if we do not have free and fair elections,” he said.

Ramotar restated his party’s position that A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) is the People’s National Congress (PNC) in disguise and, along with the Alliance For Change (AFC), has been raping democracy and stifling freedom in our society.

Britain, United States and the Commonwealth have in recent months chastised government for violating the tenets of democracy by failing to hold local government elections since 1994. The opposition has also accused government of being responsible for less than satisfactory ratings on press freedom and fighting corruption.