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GECOM approves 11 parties to contest elections

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2020, 17:54 by Writer

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has approved 11 political parties to contest the March 2, 2020 elections, even as the elections management agency decides on what do with leader of the United Republican Party (URP), Dr Vishnu Bandhu who falsely declared that he is not a dual citizen, commissioners said Tuesday.

GECOM spokeswoman, Yolanda Ward said nine of the 11 parties are likely to contest the general elections and 10 are likely to contest the regional council elections. She said the commission was still wrapping up its deliberations to arrive at the final number of parties.

Election commissioners, Sase Gunraj and Vincent Alexander told reporters that 11 parties have been given the greenlight to contest the polls, leaving the Guyana National Service Party and the National Independent Party out of the race because they did not meet the requirements.

13 parties had submitted lists on Nominations Day.

Gunraj and colleague election commissioner, Charles Corbin are preparing to leave Guyana in the coming weeks to oversee the printing of ballots.

With URP Leader Bandhu having formally written GECOM withdrawing as a candidate because he is a dual citizen, Gunraj and Alexander said Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has been asked to explore the way forward to deal with Bandhu.

“We have given some instructions to the CEO which he is expected to carry out and that’s as far as I’m going to go at this time,” said Gunraj. “Dr. Bandhu, who made a false declaration, will be treated in the manner required… The CEO has been advised to look at the provisions of the law and deal with it within that framework,” Alexander added moments later.

GECOM is also said to be considering how to deal with leader of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman who said last Friday that he has applied to the Canadian authorities to give up his Canadian citizenship and he was awaiting a response.

The parties approved for contesting the 2020 elections are A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change, People’s Progressive Party, The Citizenship Initiative, The New Movement, Organisation for the Victory of the People, A New and United Guyana, United Republican Party, Liberty and Justice Party, Change Guyana, People’s Republic Party, and Federal United Party.