PPP accuses GECOM of attempting to disenfranchise its supporters; calls for international help

The opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) on Thursday accused the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of discriminating against its supporters by reducing the number of private residences that will be used as polling places.

“We consider this latest development as yet another attempt by GECOM to frustrate voters, suppress and hinder voting and create possible confusion on Elections Day,” the PPP said.

The PPP accused Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield of breaking his promise to address the party’s concerns, except in one case.

GECOM’s spokeswoman, Yolanda Ward up to late Thursday night did not respond to a request for reaction to the PPP’s concerns.

Saying it was deeply disturbed at the reduction of polling places especially in PPP strongholds, that party cited instances in Lusignan, Annandale, Mon Repos and Chesney where GECOM has discontinued the use of private residences as polling places.

The PPP called on the technical advisors from the Commonwealth, International Research Institute and Canada, all the election observer teams in Guyana, the diplomatic community and civil society organizations to note its concerns and to join the PPP” in its efforts to ensure that the Guyanese electorate gets a free and fair opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote on March 2, 2020.”

That party also called on 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.

The PPP says that GECOM intends to use 2,339 polling stations in 2020, a mere increase of 40 polling stations, compared to 2, 299 polling stations used in 2015. This, the party says even though there is a significant increase of almost 90,000 electors in 2020, when compared to 2015.

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