CORRECTION: PPP pulls out of one Wakenaam constituency, to contest 17 others
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has pulled out from contesting the Local Government Elections in one constituency in Wakenaam, General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo announced at a press conference today.
The party will be contesting in the other 17 constituencies.
The decision to pull out from the race in that area follows allegations that the party’s candidates forged the signatures of persons on the backers list. Reports are that the persons appearing on the list are either dead or do not live in Guyana.
Jagdeo explained at the news conference that “something went wrong” and as such, opted to back down from contesting in that area as he had promised.
Concerns about electoral skullduggery including the forging of signatures and tricking persons into signing the backers list are rampant during this elections period.
The Alliance For Change (AFC) has been significantly affected by this, with more than 50 persons who, at the last minute, removed their names from the list – a move which could disqualify a party’s candidate from contesting in an area.
In fact, the PPP/C has filed an action in the High Court on behalf of 50 other persons who wish to have their names removed from the AFC list.
Jagdeo claims that these individuals had submitted affidavits to their respective Returning Officer to have their names withdrawn, but the Officer refused to do so.
The AFC is concerned with this practice, noting that political parties can deliberately scheme to disqualify their competition through this process.
Jagdeo agreed and suggested that at the next Local Government Elections, a more foolproof approach is needed when parties are soliciting support.
He said when political parties are requesting signatures of residents to back their candidates, it should be done before a Justice of Peace.