PPP sets the record straight on LGE participation in Wakenaam

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See below a press statement issued by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) about their participation at this year’s Local Government Elections (LGE) in Wakenaam: 

The People’s Progressive Party wishes to set the record straight in regard to its participation in the November 12th, 2018 Local Government Elections in Wakenaam.

At a Press Conference on September 24th 2018, the issue of discrepancies on one of the party’s List of Backers was raised.   General Secretary, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo acknowledged that the issue had attracted his attention and that an investigation was underway. He then pointed out that the allegation related to one constituency in Wakenaam and that the island is in fact a PPP/C stronghold in which it won fifteen out of the eighteen Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) seats in 2016.  Further, the General Secretary gave an undertaking that should his investigation unearth any acts of wrong-doing that the party will withdraw from contesting that constituency. (See press conference: https://www.facebook.com/pppcguyana/videos/1909727195990611/)

Demerara Waves, under the headline, “Political parties in ‘ground games’ for local govt election candidates; PPP probing claims of dead, fake backers”, also reported on the same day that “General Secretary of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo on Monday said if claims of irregularities are proven to be true the candidates would be instructed to withdraw from contesting a constituency in the Wakenaam Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC).”

On Thursday, October 4th 2018, when the question of discrepancies at Wakenaam was once again posed, it was in the context outlined above that the General Secretary said, “I saw it… and I believe something went wrong there and we withdrew as promised.

It should be noted, however, that the Wakenaam Local Authority Area (LAA) has nine constituencies, eight of which were won at the 2016 Local Government Elections by PPP/C.

We also wish to point out that while the party has withdrawn from contesting Constituency Two, Rush Brook/Maria Johanna, which has 185 listed electors, it will still be contesting the other eight constituencies and Proportional Representation seats on November 12th, 2018.

The PPP/C is the only party contesting in all 80 LAAs, with over 3000 candidates and over 20,000 backers.  Further, out of the 596 constituencies across the country issues of irregularity only arose on one of the party’s lists of backers, in one constituency. On this note, the party took a principled position and withdrew its candidate in that disputed constituency.

On the other hand, the APNU/AFC and the URP have had allegations of fraud and other impropriety leveled against them in 42 of 80 NDCs.  At Crabwood Creek, Corriverton, Number 63 and Whim Village in Berbice a total of 202 persons objected to the fraudulent inclusion of their names on their List of Backers.  Similar claims were made at La Grange, La Jalousie and Canal Polder in West Bank Demerara by dozens of persons.

We hope that the press will highlight the fact that GECOM has accepted several APNU/AFC and URP lists and dozens of names that were fraudulently procured rather than focus and sensationalize the fact that the PPP/C withdrew one candidate, in one constituency in Wakenaam which attracted allegations of irregularity. We continue to maintain that the PPP/C position should be emulated by the APNU/AFC and URP and we hope that the press will urge them to do so.

In closing the PPP/C wishes to reaffirm that it has not withdrawn from contesting Wakenaam or any other Local Authority Area.

People’s Progressive Party

October 5th, 2018

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