[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has confirmed that the Disciplined Services will be casting their ballots for the upcoming General and Regional Elections on May 2.
GECOM’s Public Relations Officer, Richard Francois made the confirmation on Thursday, April 23 as he pointed out that the ranks of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) will be casting their ballots on that day.
He explained that preparations are in place and GECOM expects smooth sailing of the conduct of the disciplined services polls.
Military personnel will be confined from May 6, in preparation for deployment in support of the Guyana Police Force as becomes necessary on May 11.
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.
Meanwhile, Army Chief of Staff, Brigadier General Mark Phillips once again briefed servicemen and women of the GDF on their role regarding the conduct of duties and their service to the nation as soldiers and citizens for the upcoming national elections.
“Ranks you have a civic responsibility as citizens to exercise your franchise during national elections by casting your vote. You are free to vote for whichever person or political party you choose, since it is your Constitutional right. However, do not allow anyone to make that decision for you. Your vote and who you cast it for is your personal and private choice” he emphasized.
Phillips reminded the ranks that it was against army principles to exhibit any form of political campaigning on any base of the GDF.
“Guyana is still being governed by President Donald Ramotar who was duly elected to the Presidency. He is still the Commander in Chief of the military, and in that regard, still has the right to give instructions to the military,” he said.
“Ex military officers also have the right to participate in the political activities of Guyana. We respect their service to Guyana. However, our current operational decision-making is not influenced by ex-military officers. We take orders from the duly elected president of Guyana, our Commander in Chief, President Donald Ramotar,” the Brigadier subsequently added.
The Chief of Staff explained that there will be a large number of representatives from several countries and International bodies in Guyana during the elections period, serving as Observers, and repeated his concern that the highest level of professionalism must be displayed at all times.