Jagdeo concerned ‘intense rigging, heavy-handedness’ afoot in election of new GPA leadership

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Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday expressed grave concern over what he said was an apparent lack of accountability and transparency in the election toward a change in leadership of the Guyana Press Association (GPA).

The elections are slated for May 14, 2023; the elections should have been called since January 2020.

The refusal by the four remaining members of the nine-member executive to produce a voters’ list ahead of the polls politicises the process and Jagdeo believes other members should oppose the “heavy-handedness” or as he puts it, an attempt at intense rigging.

The current President of the Press Association is veteran journalist, Nazima Raghubir and she has her hat in the ring for re-election. She goes up against another long-serving journalist, Neil Marks.

Marks has been pressing the association to release the list of eligible voters ahead of the polls but was met with insistence that the list will be available mere minutes before voting on Sunday.

This is in keeping with convention, some members have said.

Requests to also have new members registered were rebuffed by the GPA, amounting to a cherry picking of conventions since in the past, members were allowed to register on the day of the election, pay their dues, and allowed to vote.

The GPA has only clarified that there are 110 persons eligible to vote in the elections on Sunday.

Jagdeo said he was well aware of these developments and reasoned that should this have been the case at the national level, there would have been outright condemnation from journalists all across the country, including those who currently lead the GPA.

“It should be easy to share with all contesting parties a voters’ list.

“As a person who has seen rigged voters’ lists, this looks to me as though there is intense rigging here,” Jagdeo told a news conference on Thursday.

He poured cold water on claims that a vote for anyone other than Raghubir would amount to a government take over of the GPA.

“It looks almost like an APNU spearheaded operation frankly speaking here. Knowing some individuals, I wouldn’t doubt that a heavy hand is being played in this,” Jagdeo added.

He encouraged other members of the press association not to remain quiet and accept this because of any sense of loyalty.

“Anywhere in the world, nobody would allow this to happen, particularly the members of this organisation who argue for transparency in government.

“Any self-respecting person, but more so the journalists who are committed to fairness would never allow this,” the VP added. He said the situation was altogether troubling.

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1 Comment
  1. derk says

    Rigging of elections is a’ ghost’ which must to be ‘exorcised’ from Guyana .Why should anyone be allowed to escape with this shenanigans.

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