Supporters of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) are claiming that they were tricked into signing forms which put them as candidates for the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) team to contest the November 12 Local Government Elections (LGE).
Seven persons have reported this to the party’s regional office in New Amsterdam.
According to them, the incident occurred at the Plegtanker/Koortbradt NDC on the East Bank of Berbice.
Omesh Kumar is one such person.
According to him, he did sign a form to indicate that he will be a candidate for the PPP but on Nomination Day, but his name also appeared on the APNU list of candidates.
Meanwhile, Tulapersaud Heeman Kumar claims that he was tricked into signing a second form.
He told this media group that following a consultation meeting which the PPP held last week, he was nominated to be one of its representatives. However, the following day, a prominent villager who once supported the PPP, and whom he later learnt now supports APNU, went to his home and gave him a similar form to sign. According to him, the man told him that there was a mistake on the form he had signed for the PPP and he had to sign it again.
Heeman Kumar said he was unaware that the second form he was signing was going to be taken to APNU. Other persons from the community also gave this publication similar testimonials.
The persons have since signed affidavits indicating their choice of party they wish to support.
The PPP is expected to present this alleged fraud to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday.
While the LGE Nomination Day when smoothly in several parts of Guyana, in Berbice, Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) there were several hiccups.
At the Plegtanker/Kortberaadt NDC on the East Bank of Berbice – one of two new NDCs in the region – the PPP is contending it had arrived at the NDC with its list since 20:00h on Thursday, but the security guard there reserved a place for A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), which arrived sometime after 05:30h on Friday – the same time at which the returning officer arrived – and the Returning Officer allegedly allowed APNU to submit its list first, which according to PPP Member of Parliament, Adrian Anamayah, is an act that has raised concerns for his party.
According to Anamayah, APNU members had fooled persons and had caused them to sign documents which APNU members used to indicate that those persons were APNU candidates.
He said that had his party been allowed to be the first to submit its documents, as should rightly have been the case, some of those names would not have been allowed on the APNU list.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the region, a similar situation played out, wherein the PPP said it was at the office first and was given the number one tag, but the Returning Officer asked for APNU to be first to submit its list after members of that party began to behave unruly in the GECOM compound.
Again, Anamayah is contending the PPP was denied its right to be the first to submit its list and he is alleging that GECOM already is acting in a seemingly biased manner.
According to the parliamentarian, the PPP will be challenging the actions of the Returning Officer in court. (Andrew Carmichael)