There are four Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs) and 149 constituencies in which Local Government Elections (LGE) will not be held because of unopposed lists.
This was revealed during a Press Conference hosted by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at the GECOM Media Centre in Waterloo Street, Georgetown yesterday.
Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, said yesterday that the LGE law states that where the lists are unopposed, the lists/Candidates are deemed to have been elected.
The four NDCs are Mocha/Arcadia, Kintyre/Borlam, Black Bush Polder and Crabwood Creek/Moleson Creek.
The Commission stated that they have commenced work on compiling the list of Polling Stations and a draft will be submitted shortly by the Secretariat for approval.
Having concluded all activities associated with Nomination Day, GECOM stated that it has been engaged in the designing of the Ballot Paper, Statement of Poll and Tally Sheets for all the Local Authority Areas – except for the four with unopposed lists. It is in the process of dispatching the templates for production overseas.
As it relates to staffing on Elections Day, the Commission noted that it began training September last year. It is at a stage where it is comfortable having acquired the required numbers to work.
GECOM also stated that it is currently engaged in conducting an analysis relative to the engagement of staff to work at Local Authority Areas and Constituencies.
Voting for the Disciplined Forces
Elections Day is set for March 18, 2016 for civilians while the Disciplined Services (DF) will cast ballots on March 8, 2016.
GECOM stated yesterday that the respective Lists of Electors who are members of the Disciplined Forces are currently being prepared by the Commission in collaboration with senior Representatives from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and the Guyana Prison Services.
The packing of Ballot Boxes to be dispatched to the Ballot Stations in each Municipality or NDC will be carried out under “adequate” supervision of GECOM personnel and witnessed by Agents/Representatives of the contesting Political parties/Voluntary groups/Individual Candidates, the commission sated.
GECOM continued that all Ballot Boxes will be returned to the commission after the DF voting and kept in the “secure” custody of the Chief Elections Officer under guard by members of the Guyana Police Force.
The ballots cast will be sorted by Local Authority and Constituency to be dispatched to the respective Returning Officers for intermixing on Elections Day on March 18.
GECOM informed that the Polling Stations identified for the intermixing of the DF ballots will be gazetted.
The Ballots cast by the members of the DF will be distributed on Elections Day by the Returning Officers to the relevant Presiding Officers to be inter-mixed and counted at the identified/gazetted Polling Stations.
The respective Lists of Members of the DF will be scrutinised to determine electors who would have voted on March 8.
GECOM Chairman, Dr. Steve Surujbally said yesterday that persons wishing to be local observers can apply to GECOM. He continued that the commission has developed a protocol which he said is “quite comprehensive”.
These persons will then be accredited. However, if the protocols are broken, these persons will be disaccredited.
On the question of the possible presence of foreign observers during the LGE, the Chairman stated that the Government will have to decide that however, it is his knowledge that the Government has not done so, nor was there any requests made by foreign bodies to present.
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