Nomination day is out of the way and People’s Progressive Party General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo has revealed that over 3000 candidates have been put forward by his Party to contest local elections in all 80 Local Authority Areas (LAA).
This was expressed at a press conference held at Freedom House earlier today. At the conference, PPP representatives from all across Guyana were present.
According to Jagdeo, special effort was made to make the candidate list as inclusive as possible.
“We said we want the list to reflect a balance between PPP members and members of civil society, those are retired teachers, retired policemen…other prominent individuals in society, people who are committed to doing social work, we have many of them who are active in local government bodies but who are not members of our party, they maybe sympathizers, they agree with our programmes but they are not members of the Party, and we wanted them included on our list because they have a great contribution to make in the development of their villages, or their NDC’s or their municipalities.”
Moreover, Jagdeo outlined that the Party tried as hard a possible to have a list of candidates that reflect Guyana.
“We insisted on ethnic balance, we wanted youth and experience…we wanted more women on our list, we wanted religious balance, class balance…we wanted a balanced list.”
He outlined that they were not perfect as the selection process for over 3000 candidates was difficult but they did their best to accommodate everyone.
Besides the thousands of candidates, the General Secretary related that there were approximately 20,000 backers.
According to Jagdeo, the party will contest all LAAs. Even the ones whose creation caused PPP to launch court challenges.
“You know of our concerns for the creation of new local government bodies through a process of gerrymandering by this government to create new local government bodies in areas that they feel…are pro PPP areas to give an advantage to APNU, particularly in the areas where we had tied those Local Government Areas.”
He outlined that the matter is before the court, but made it clear that the PPP went to Court not to block the holding of LGE as was claimed by APNU but to “uphold the constitution of Guyana and the laws of this country.”
According to the PPP GS, is seems that though only their Party is defending the rights of people.
“We are defending the rights of citizens to be consulted when you alter their boundaries or the areas that they are living in” Jagdeo said.
He noted that his Party is also contesting LGE in those areas which he said were newly created to give an advantage to APNU.
Nomination day was held on September 21 and the three parties, coupled with independents, submitted their list of candidates.
GECOM is in receipt of 61 symbols from these bodies, all having thrown their hats in the ring.
APNU was the first party to hold a LGE press conference, where they announced they would contest in 76 areas.
The AFC is contesting the elections on its own.