PPP cites shortage of polling day staff; wants process re – opened

One of GECOM’s recent training sessions.

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The People’s Progressive Party says it was made aware that there is a significant shortage of polling day staff in a few regions.

As such, the Party is urging the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to re-open the process to allow for submission of applications by persons who are qualified and desirous of working.

“Situations like this can lead to the “relaxing” of requirements, accepting second choices and hand picking, which the PPP is totally against since it may have dire consequences to the integrity of the electoral process,” General Secretary of the PPP, Clement Rohee told a news conference on Monday, March 16.

He noted that the situation justifies the Party’s persistent calls for public vetting of polling day staff.

“This call is not intended in any way to rob anyone of any opportunity but to build public trust and confidence in GECOM’s machinery. Time and again, flaws and inconsistencies have marred our elections especially by unqualified and bias polling day staff; the PPP views this as an appropriate and proactive step in having a transparent, free and fair election and yet again strengthen our democracy,” Rohee said.

The Party further expressed its objection to the use of Information Clerks at polling places throughout the country as was the case in 2011.

“This was a total failure and acted as a catalyst for frustration to voters back in 2011. Instead, GECOM must embark on an aggressive voters’ education programme and to also make public knowledge the polling places so that people can familiarize themselves with their place of poll.”

According to Rohee, the PPP stands ready to assist GECOM, in informing voters of their place of poll, once finalized by GECOM in adequate time. The PPP, he said, calls on GECOM to ensure that all measures are taken to implement policies and procedures that will create voter’s friendly polling places manned by competent and trained staff.