PPP requests timeline for declaration of results by ROs

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Following what the opposition People’s Progressive Party described as a lengthy but fruitful meeting with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Tuesday, it is now hopeful that several of its requests would be heeded in the final days to the runoff of the March 02, 2020 polls.

Among those requests are for the electoral body to hand over the “written and clear” instructions given to polling day staff, specifically Presiding Officers and Returning Officers (ROs), to the political party.

General Secretary of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo told reporters just after the almost three-hour long meeting that this is among 23 issues the PPP wanted to discuss with GECOM.

According to Jagdeo, the request for the release of the Chief Elections Officer’s (CEO) instruction is to guard against capricious action and or any person acting in a partisan matter on E-Day.

“We have witnessed this type of behaviour by GECOM staff… the CEO will share written instructions given to Presiding Officers and ROs so that when they have those, in the face, of a person acting in a partisan manner, they can pull out the instructions and say here it is,” he explained.

Jagdeo explained that among of some issues that can arise is a situation where a polling day staff refuses to allow a candidate into a polling station or refuses to count a ballot for one reason or another.

“Often they say we will have to call the CEO and they are unable to reach him and the issue remains unresolved,” Jagdeo added.

Jagdeo has also asked GECOM to provide clarity on the statement of polls.

“There is an issue whether polling agents can put the seal on boxes, the law provides can seal envelopes but we still need clarity on these issues.”

Jagdeo also wants GECOM to say clearly whether his party agents can accompany the Deputy Returning Officer to the RO’s office with the statements of polls where it will be opened in the presence of polling agents and observers.

Jagdeo did not say what commitment the PPP got from GECOM on all the issues raised at Tuesday’s meeting where all Commissioners and advisers were present.

He would only say the party is hopeful that the meeting will be a fruitful one once GECOM allows “good sense” to prevail.

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