Car slams into minibus transporting ballot boxes
-GECOM says nothing compromised
Voting for the 2011 General and Regional Elections got underway yesterday with members of the Joint Services casting their votes. By nightfall there was a glitch to the exercise. A minibus transporting elections paraphernalia used at Brickdam Police Station for votes cast for that district toppled after a collision in the city.
The incident, which attracted a crowd including Sports Minister, Frank Anthony, and PNCR’s Parliamentarian, Volda Lawrence, occurred at the junction of Robb and King Streets shortly after 19:00 hrs last evening.
Police were immediately called in and they secured the area.
At least three persons were said to be hurt, none critical, when the unmarked minibus, said to belong to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) flipped.
GECOM’s Public Relations Officer, Vishnu Persaud, said last night that nothing was compromised. He said that Assistant Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, on learning of the accident raced to the scene and took control of the electoral equipment that comprised unused ballot papers, the ink, the stamps and the ballot boxes.
According to reports, the car PKK 6376, was proceeding east along Robb Street.
The GECOM vehicle, PJJ 9158, was heading north on King Street under police escort. However, eyewitnesses said that the police vehicle was too far ahead and apparently the driver of the silver Toyota 212 car did not see the minibus.
Vehicles heading north along King Street have to stop at Robb Street before proceeding.
It was said that the Carina smacked into the side of the minibus causing it to flip.
The votes were being taken to GECOM where the ballot boxes would have been kept until November 28, when the national polls are set to take place. After the close of voting on that day, the votes from today would be taken out and counted.
Eyewitnesses on the scene offered two versions of the accident. However, both sides agreed that the police vehicle escorting the GECOM minibus was far ahead at the time of the accident.
According to a commercial sex worker, who witnessed the accident, the bus which was travelling along King Street slammed into the car which was traveling along Robb Street. Soon after the police escort arrived.
The eyewitness said that the driver of the car, said to be a police rank, stood by his vehicle.
The used ballot papers, a Bible and other items used for the voting at Brickdam Police Station were quickly transferred under the watchful eyes of the crowd into a car carrying at least one opposition Parliamentarian.
On the scene, the driver of the car was surrounded by the police. When reporters tried to obtain his picture the young man was escorted to his vehicle where he sat with his cellular phone for several minutes. He was towed away in his vehicle to the Brickdam Police Station.