By Fareeza Haniff
[www.inewsguyana.com] – There is no law which the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) could use to stop the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) from using state resources for its elections campaign, according to Opposition Leader, David Granger.
Granger led a high level team which met with GECOM officials yesterday (Thursday, December 11) and according to him, it is now left to GECOM to persuade the PPP government to cease the alleged wrongdoing.
“There is no actual law which GECOM cited that it could enforce to scrutinize the Executive and to prevent the misuse of those resources. It simply does not have the capability under the law. It’s a question now of persuasion because what we saw taking place with the use of the aircraft, the use of state media, the acceleration in the grant of state resources such as the cash grants and the cleanup campaign and all that; we felt there was obviously a deployment of a significant amount of finance to further the PPP interest in the campaign but GECOM can’t stop it, the Opposition Leader told a news conference today, Friday December 12.
A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), which Granger leads, accused the PPP of using state resources for political campaigning, race baiting and vote buying.
These accusations were described as “cynical concoctions” by General Secretary of PPP, Clement Rohee earlier in the week.
Rohee had also called on Granger to cease using the State resources he is entitled to. In response to this however, APNU Parliamentarian and Chief Election Scrutineer, Amna Ally explained today that the Office of the Leader of the Opposition is entitled to use his staff and equipment.
“He is not given a helicopter for example to go campaigning. He doesn’t have at his disposal the staff of the GRO to do late registration without adhering to the rules…I do not understand how Clement Rohee, the General Secretary of the PPP can want to compare the Leader of the Opposition’s constitutional entitlement to that of using state resources for campaign issues,” Ally said.
The PPP is also accused of fear mongering and race baiting in its elections campaign.