Chief Scrutiniser and Executive of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Zulficar Mustapha, said he was reliably informed that some political parties are on the ground misleading voters around the country.
From the complaints received, he implicated the Alliance For Change (AFC), United Republican Party of Guyana (URP) and the A partnership for National Unity (APNU) parties.
On Tuesday Mustapha explained to this media group that before a candidate can contest a constituency of a Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) area, he or she would have to have certain amount of backers.
“For the NDC you have to have 20-30 signatures of persons who live in that constituency. The entire list for an NDC area requires 30 backers but each. In the municipality the number of backers for constituency candidate is 60 and number for entire municipality list which is proportional representation part is 110.”
The PPP executive said his party was informed that many persons who have signed onto the PPP list of candidates are going around telling people they can sign more than one list of candidates.
He said, “That is wrong! If you sign on more than one list of candidates, those lists can become nullified and invalid. In Rose Hall we had people from URP who went and mislead people, telling them that they are from the PPP… so they were suspicious of their movement and URP activist and we doubled checked.”
According to Mustapha, PPP plans to lodge an official complaint with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) over what it described as acts to commit electoral fraud.
Mustapha feels people are rejecting the coalition parties, particularly the AFC and URP, “and now they using cover under the PPP to dupe people.” He therefore warned potential voters against signing any list that they don’t feel comfortable with and to ensure they verify the authenticity of the list.
“I know there are many persons that people are willing to sign on our list, and AFC and APNU people are reluctant to sign on their list to back their list of candidates. This is a trend that might take place before Local Government Elections and we are monitoring the situation carefully,” he added.
The PPP chief scrutiniser said these complaints are not just limited to one particular areas but were spread out across various regions, including Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica); Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne); and Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).
“It seems as though this is a national ploy to mislead people. We are saying also that GECOM has a role to play, they could only sign on one list of candidates,” he said. Mustapha said during his next meeting with the Chief Elections Officer of GECOM, Keith Lowenfield, he will raise this issue. He also plans to write the GECOM CEO.