PPP to seek legislative changes before local elections – Rohee

The PPP said yesterday that it would be seeking amendments to legislation dealing with local government elections, but did not indicate what those changes were likely to encompass.

General Secretary of the party Clement Rohee told reporters at the PPP’s weekly press briefing that this was because, “The handling of the votes by the Disciplined Services in the May 2015 elections gave rise to several highly suspicious occurrences.”

He added that the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) was “yet to resolve a number of outstanding matters with respect to voting by the Disciplined Forces at the Local Government Elections. In this connection, there are a number of laws that will have to be amended if problems are to be avoided long before March 18, 2016.”

Clement Rohee
Clement Rohee

When asked specifically what the party would like to see happen at the legislative level and how and it would propose amendments to the Local Government (Amendment) Act which was passed in July, Rohee said he would rather not comment.

However, he did say that “The PPP is deeply concerned over the lack of public confidence and interest in the voter public education campaign launched by Gecom particularly its community outreach activities costing some $93 million.”

He said reports from supporters have suggested that as few as five persons have shown up to information sessions in the 72 local authority areas.

Rohee maintained that “It is Gecom’s responsibility to excite and seek creative ways of getting the people interested in local government elections.”

While he was prepared to expand on what the party felt were the commission’s delinquencies, his responses to questions about his party’s strategy were noncommittal and minimalistic.

He told Stabroek News the “jury is still out” on whether or not the party focus on lobbying against opponents or would highlight its accomplishments in its 22 years at the municipality level.

Even though local elections are roughly three months away, neither the PPP nor the APNU+AFC Coalition have made any significant moves to inform constituencies of campaign strategies.

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