PPP warns of “serious legal challenges”

first_imgLGE disputed list …if list withdrawal issue not addressed at GECOM The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has issued a stern warning that if the list withdrawal rule is not fixed in such a way as to facilitate persons who would like their names removed from various voters’ lists at the upcoming Local Government Elections (LGE), serious legal challenges will be mountedThis was announced by General Secretary of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo, who said on Thursday that an agreement was made but not fulfilled. He said his party will not sit idly by and allow the illegality to take place, but will do all in its power to have it resolved with the help of GECOM.“If GECOM doesn’t address this — because I suspect the disappearance of the CEO (Chief Elections Officer) has something to do with this, but I don’t want to be unkind or unfair to him. I hope that they will dress this — but if they don’t address this, then I foresee serious legal challenges,” he said.Persons whose names appeared on various voters’ lists for the upcoming LGE but had no knowledge of it were given the opportunity to have it corrected before the end of Wednesday, August 26, 2018. This decision was made at the statutory meeting held at GECOM on Tuesday, when all Commissioners, including those nominated by the PPP, were present.However, on Wednesday, when some of those persons turned up to have the issue rectified at the various GECOM facilities in their communities, they were blocked from doing so.The PPP said that all assurances were given by GECOM’s CEO, Keith Lowenfield, that once affidavits for each individual was produced, it would be corrected.But when these persons showed up to make the necessary changes,, they were told by the respective Returning Officers (RO) at the various polling stations that this could only be done if the head of a list could visit the polling station with a signed affidavit or the aggrieved person appeared in person, not one individual submitting for a group.“If they don’t remove these names, then that would be tantamount to allowing that to happen in this country…I can say that I don’t want to support you, but because you fraudulently put my name there and I didn’t get to do it one time — remove my name — although I have an affidavit, then I have to back you and make your name valid. How could that be fair or legal?” Jagdeo questioned.After hours of protestation at Whim Village on Wednesday evening, persons who were disputing that they signed their names on the AFC list were invited to a meeting with the RO at 22:00h. Also invited to that meeting were the AFC representatives in the area who had taken the signatures. They failed to show at the meeting. As such, 51 persons who turned up with their sworn affidavits to have their names removed were allowed to have their names removed from the list.But some 151 persons from Crabwood Creek, Corriverton and Number 63, Berbice were unable to have their names removed from both the AFC and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) lists, since the ROs claimed that they received no instructions from Lowenfield.“We are going to be vigilant right across this country, because this is not like in the past, where we were a little bit more trusting, because we have seen how a pattern has emerged. It tells you a lot about the desperation of these parties, and how they can’t find backers to even contest the elections,” Jagdeo argued, while committing to continue challenging this issue.Jagdeo revealed on Monday that there were already several instances of electoral fraud for the 2018 LGE. According to Jagdeo, as many as 42 out of 80 Local Authority Areas have cases of forged signatures or persons being tricked into signing backers’ lists.On Nomination Day, dozens of lists of names and signatures purporting to be backers of candidates were profoundly defective because of forgery. These lists also contained the names of deceased persons, and even persons who never existed, among others.last_img read more