Last Updated on Saturday, 19 March 2016, 21:12 by Denis Chabrol
Ten months after losing general elections by a slim margin, Guyana’s main opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Saturday claimed a significant victory in Local Government Elections held a day earlier.
“As a result of this overwhelming electoral support, the PPP/C emerged victorious with over 60% of the votes cast in the seventy (70) Local Authority Areas (LAA) which the party contested,” the PPPC said in a statement.
The PPPC said it won the majority of votes in some Neighbourhood Democratic Councils where “traditionally it had limited or no support.” GECOM sources said in relation to towns, the PPPC has won Anna Regina, Rose Hall and Corriverton with five of the remaining six going to coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change.
Claiming that the governing APNU+AFC not only allegedly intimidated voters in Bartica and elsewhere but also abused state resources through the Ministry of Social Cohesion at the new towns of Bartica, Mabaruma and Lethem, the PPPC announced plans to take the issue to the 65-seat National Assembly. “The Party wishes to notify of its intention to raise these abuses of State resources by the APNU+AFC in the National Assembly and to call for a full- scale investigation into the matter.”
Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, in a separate statement, vowed that his party would work tirelessly to improve the conditions of supporters who voted solidly. “Now that the Local Government Elections are over, the PPP/C will ensure that the communities, where we won a majority, are served in a manner that is responsive to their concerns and professional, without distinction for their race, political affiliation or religion,” he said.
The party, which is now in the opposition for the first time in 23 years, credited its victory to the determination by its supporters to oust the governing APNU+AFC coalition office, long and tireless hours of work: door-to-door campaigns, and educating communities on the PPP/C vision for development, among other commendable activities.
“The latest numbers indicate a massive victory for the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) at the Local Government Elections and I would like to thank all of our supporters and the hundreds of volunteers and other persons who have helped us with the campaign,” Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo said in his statement.
The PPPC called on the International Community to pay attention to the alleged abuse of state resources for electioneering purposes. “The party calls on the International Community to take note of this troublesome development which clearly undermines and erodes confidence in the electoral process in Guyana,” the PPPC said.
The American, British and Canadian diplomats here have given the Local Government Elections a clean bill of health. “We wish to reiterate our strong and considered opinion that the voting and counting processes in the Guyanese local government elections were free, fair, and credible. Our diplomatic observer teams, consisting of some ninety observers spread throughout nine regions, found nothing to question the integrity or credibility of the voting process,” the diplomats who observed the polls said in a joint statement.