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High turnout for early voting in Guyana


High turnout for early voting in Guyana

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GEORGETOWN – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says more than 80 per cent of the members of the disciplined forces voted Friday as Guyana began the process of electing a new government on March 2.

GECOM said that 8 369 of the 10 226 members, cast their ballot on Friday, an 81.8 per cent with the Guyana Police Force (GPF) having the highest turnout of 80.6 per cent or 5 400 officers.

It said that 2 539 members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) cast ballots, representing an 83.6 per cent turnout, while the 430 members of the Guyana Prison Service voted, represented an 88.1 per cent turnout.

GECOM said 60 polling stations across the country were used during Friday’s exercise.

But GECOM chairman, retired Justice Claudette Singh, who visited several polling places to observe the voting process, responded to accusations that GECOM was engaging in voter suppression by moving polling places out of private residences.

She said 91 private residences across Guyana are still being used as polling places and the reduction in the use of private residences is in response to lobbying from the major political parties.

As a result, 95 per cent of polling stations have been moved to public buildings such as schools, community centres and churches. Schools will be closed o March 2 to facilitate the vote.

She said GECOM is taking all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections here.

GECOM said 11 political parties are contesting the elections. They are the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C, A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Change Guyana, Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Organisation for the Victory of the People (OVP),, People’s Republic Party (PRP), The Citizenship Initiative (TCI), The Federal United Party (FED-UP), The New Movement (TNM), and the United Republican Party (URP). (CMC)