By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Candidate on the list for the APNU+AFC Coalition, James Bond has been chastised for making several misleading posts on his Facebook Page that 94% of the Disciplinary Services voted in favour of the coalition.
Both the Guyana Defence Force and the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) have already expressed alarm and concern at Bond’s revelation and has called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to take “immediate and decisive” action, given the fact that ballots from the Disciplinary Services have not been counted.
As a matter of fact, GECOM has already made it clear that the ballot papers issued to members of the Disciplined Forces on Saturday, May 02 will not be stamped with the official six digit stamp when they are given to ranks for them to vote.
Instead stamping of those ballots will be done on Election Day – May 11 – when they are sent to be intermixed and counted at Polling Stations where it will be Gazetted, as is required by Law.
“GECOM takes this opportunity to guarantee that the votes cast by all members of the Disciplined Forces WILL BE COUNTED on Election Day…the entire process i.e. voting, sorting and intermixing relative to voting by members of the Disciplined Forces are being observed by Agents of the Political Parties and Local and International Observers,” GECOM had said.
But Bond took to his Facebook Page hours after voting had started and said, “The Disciplined Forces gave us 94% of their votes its up to us to take this Landslide home. On May 11 every vote we lost to complacency in 2011 we are taking it back. Every new vote must go to APNU+AFC everyone who did not vote in 2011 must vote for APNU+AFC in 2015. We CAN DO IT. It’s crunch time.”
He also posted, “An Example of what occurred today at Whim Police Station…total number of voters 165… Number of Votes Cast 147…. APNU+AFC 140…PPP 7…
“Wow wow wow thanks Disciplined Services thanks. This is the beginning of the end of the PPPC. From initial reports 98% of the ballots cast by the Disciplined Forces have been for APNU+AFC. Imagine the ranks are openly stating they have voted for the coalition.”
Officials from PPP/C told iNews that Bond’s posts are “misleading and erroneous” and the possibility exist that the APNU+AFC can now fake Statement of Polls to create confusion.
“This is an abuse of the elections laws and the PPP intends to file a report to GECOM and the police,” the PPP noted.
Meanwhile, the GDF in a statement issued late last evening condemned Bond’s actions.
“Brig Mark Phillips in his capacity as Chairman of the Joint Services condemns this action in the strongest possible way. This is distasteful at best he stated and extremely irresponsible behavior by a former member of Parliament given that there is no way the results of any polling place of today’s Joint Services voting can be known according to GECOM,” the statement noted.
The Joint Services is calling on the authorities at GECOM to explain to the public whether there exists any possibility for a process they assured the nation would be secret to have been made public.
“This development is extremely worrying since Mr Bond, an Attorney and Candidate on the APNU+AFC list is expected to exercise good judgement in all matters pertaining to the electorate and the electoral process and not seek in any way to incite mayhem among the populace,” GDF said.
“The Joint Services wishes to assure the nation that they remain committed to a peaceful electoral process and urge calm during and after the elections are completed.”
It is traditional for the military to vote several days ahead of the general public so that troops can be available for service to the nation as the need arises during and even after the period of National Elections.