Tuesday 14 July, 2020

Guyana Elections: Opposition claims polling station discrimination

The People’s Progressive Party said it is deeply disturbed by the recent decisions of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to reduce the number of Polling Places, especially in their strongholds. 

In a statement, the main opposition party said: “We consider this latest development as yet another attempt by GECOM to frustrate voters, suppress and hinder voting and create possible confusion on Election Day.” 

PPP/C said it held a meeting with the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield and they were given a commitment that their proposals will be considered when adjustments are made. 

“To our utter disappointment all, except one of our proposals, were rejected by the GECOM without any proper reason or explanation.” 

Furthermore, the party stated GECOM is unfairly discontinuing the use of private homes as polling stations. 

There will be 2,339 polling stations in 2020, an increase of 40 from 2015.

The party also claimed GECOM's website is misleading voters about their polling stations. 

"Residents of Felicity, East Coast Demerara, are now informed via the GECOM’s website that they are voting at MMC Parking Lot (Tent). This Polling Station is not on the list of Polling Places that were given to the PPP.”

“We call upon GECOM to eschew its current posture and to adopt one which facilitates and encourages smooth and peaceful voting by the electorate in an environment that is safe and comfortable.” 

They have also called on the technical advisors from the Commonwealth, International Republican Institute (IRI) and Canada and election observers to note their concerns and to join efforts to ensure that the Guyanese electorate has a free and fair opportunity to vote on March 2. 

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