Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Yolanda Ward, has disclosed that some 15 political parties are likely to contest the upcoming General and Regional Elections, which has been set for March 2, 2020.
She was at the time speaking at a press conference held earlier today (Friday, November 8, 2019) to give an update on preparations for the upcoming polls.
According to Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, they have been in contact with the major political parties as well as the new ones.
“At the appropriate time, we’ll be inviting all these parties to be briefed long before Nominations Day exercises are held. So that all parties and all contestants will have an opportunity to be informed and be made aware of the legal processes required for Nominations Days,” he stated.
A part from the two major parties, the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) and the APNU/AFC Coalition, there are at least five other parties which have been recently launched.
With regards to other elections preparations, Lowenfield further noted that some 13,500 persons have been trained to work on polling day and that GECOM has already started procuring electoral materials.
“To date, we’ve acquired the paraphilia required for the conduct of polls as it relates to ink and seals. We have already in stock, our ballot boxes. So all the technical requirements for polling, they are in locations and at the appropriate time, we will be operationalising those,” he stated.
However, the Chief Elections Officer explained that they will have to wait until after Nominations Day, which is yet to be set, to see how many of those parties will qualify to contest the March 2020 elections before moving ahead with the printing of ballot papers and other electoral documents.
“Currently, we’re engaging the service provider that is providing the templates for all of that… We provide the data to the service provider and he has a draft. We have a certain amount of parties and let’s assume they’re all gonna be there, we gave the name to the service provider… and at the end of the [Nomination Day] exercise, those not qualified comes off. So we’ve provided a template and we working with them on that,” Lowenfield stated.