Mr. Harmon said with elections just days away, any changes to polling places or additional polling places being added should allow adequate notice for the voters. He said GECOM must address that issue.

by Anthony Glasgow

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Officials from the APNU+AFC coalition met this afternoon with the Chairperson, Chief Elections Officer and the Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission. 

During the meeting, the Coalition representatives raised a number of issues and concerns with the GECOM officials as citizens prepare for Monday’s elections. 

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Principal APNU+AFC Party Agent Joe Harmon said the Coalition team raised the issue of additional polling places being added in some areas.

He explained that the Elections Commission did not formally inform the coalition of its decision to add additional polling places to some areas.

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“We were advised that there were moves afoot to change some of the polling places and that we were not formally advised about this decision of the Commission. So we wrote to the Elections Commission requesting to meet with them about that and other matters we said we will raise. The fact of the matter is that the Commission advised us that based on complaints made by the People’s Progressive Party about polling places at Foulis & at Mon Repos on the East Coast of Demerara that there were inclined to review those polling places. What they said to us is that the complaints had to do with congestion and distance away from the polling place where people actually live.” 

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Mr. Harmon said he found it disturbing that other parties were not involved in the scouting for possible new locations for polling places.

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“What we found to be a little disturbing was that the office of the Chief Elections Officer and the PPP elections agent, as well as an Assistant agent, visited the locations to find alternative venues for these polling places. We found that to be unusual and we said that we will not accept any changes based on that formula and therefore the decision made, was that at 5 o’clock this afternoon our elections agent and our assistant agent for the East Coast of Demerara, Mr. Basil Williams; that we will go and revisit those areas where there is a claim about congestion and distance”.

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Mr. Harmon said with elections just days away, any changes to polling places or additional polling places being added should allow adequate notice for the voters.  He said GECOM must address that issue. 

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The APNU+AFC also used the meeting to raise a concern about the PPP using a facility already designated as a polling place for one of its political meetings.  The coalition officials said that should not be taking place and GECOM must address issues like that. 

Another APNU+AFC agent said the coalition has been receiving reports of 18-year-olds who were registered to vote not being able to find their names on the official list.

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The agent has undertaken to compile a list with those persons and present it to GECOM.

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The APNU+AFC officials said they still have faith that the Elections Commission will deliver free and credible elections on Monday. The coalition wants to ensure all systems are in place to support such elections.

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