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43 soldiers, police at Eteringbang did not vote last week

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has confirmed that 43 members of the Joint Services located at Eteringbang near the Guyana-Venezuela border were unable to vote last week Friday along with other members of the joint services.

GECOM spokeswoman, Yolanda Ward says 35 members of the police force and eight Guyana Defence Force soldiers did not vote with their colleagues, ahead of civilians on Monday.

Ms. Ward says the pilot arrived at Eteringbang but said he was unable to land at the location and returned to Georgetown.

The GECOM spokeswoman says arrangements are in place to airlift the joint services members from Eteringbang and transport them to their respective places of registration to vote on March 2.

Meanwhile, Ms Ward said GECOM was finalising the number of new polling places following a meeting between top representatives of the opposition People’s Progressive Party and the seven-member commission as well as the Chief and Deputy Chief Elections officers on Tuesday.

Those new polling places, she said, would be gazetted.

This has become necessary after the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield had decided to reduce the number of private residences that would be used as polling places. That decision had triggered the PPP to accuse GECOM of voter suppression, and discrimination of incumbent coalition strongholds where the PPP had claimed that there are numerous private residences that will be used as polling places.