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Updated: Opposition supporters will not be vicitmised if PPP wins; inclusive parliamentary governance best option–President tells Guyanese as he votes

President Donald Ramotar casting his ballot at St. John’s College.

President  Donald Ramotar, his wife Deolatchmie and other relatives casted their ballots at the St. John Secondary School, Waterloo Street, Georgetown on Monday May 11 as the nation goes to the polls in General and Regional Elections.

The Head of State’s message to the nation was, “vote for peace, progress and prosperity,” after explaining to the media that he expects to win some 40 seats in Parliament. “My most optimistic guess is 40 (seats),” he told the media.

The Leader explained that he is very confident of a win, while his wife urged Guyanese women to vote if they would like he to have her remain First Lady to continue to serve them.

“Vote right, vote for the PPP/Civic,” she urged.

The President said he has discussed some of the party’s concerns and some of the things they were not happy relating to the voting preparations.

The President said he is not sure whether the Election Commission could fix all the problems but, “My latest information is that they have been fixing some.”

The President mentioned also that he did meet with former US President Jimmy Carter and understood that the former President had a virus that doctors were cautioning him about.

In relation to shared governance, Ramotar said the Carter Centre did raise the issue, “but we pointed out to them all that we have been doing to build confidence in the system and how much we have been trying to be inclusive.”

He said the foreign team was advised on how the party has been trying to use Parliament to bring in the opposition to be able to influence and understand policies that they have set up in the National Assembly.

He said however that he does not believe the opposition took the many opportunities that were offered to them since 2008. After 201, the opportunities were not taken into account. Ramotar said however, “I still think that the Standing Committees in the National Assembly, the fact that the government had devolved a lot of its power to the National Assembly with the appointment of the rights commission etc. are really the foundation and basis to have more inclusivity within the governance of the country.”

President Ramotar assured opposition supporters not to be fearful of victimization if his party wins because their track record speaks for itself. “Since 1992 we have been winning elections and we haven’t victimised anyone.”

In terms of accepting the results, Ramotar said, “once the election is free and fair, the loser should accept defeat.”

He said so far reports on the voting process have been fairly good with a few hiccups. The president said he has no direct schedule, but he will be about visiting some polling stations.