GPSU holds elections following court battle

-Gaspar enthused at early results

A voter casting her ballot at the Guyana Public Service Union yesterday.

After a legal battle and other hurdles, the Guyana Public Service Union’s (GPSU) elections finally came off yesterday but not without complaints of discrepancies. Counting of the ballots was underway last night.

The supporters of the team contesting against the Union’s longstanding President Patrick Yarde, related what they believed to be inconsistencies in the voting process across the country.

Among those allegations are claims that persons were not allowed to vote in Region 5, Mahaica-Berbice, as no ballot boxes were delivered there; that some locations, such as the Ministry of Finance, had ballots being placed in envelopes rather than ballot boxes; and that there were inconsistences in the names of the nominees presented on the ballot paper that were contesting for President.

It was stated that while most locations had Patrick Yarde and Gregory Gaspar competing for the presidential post, in Region 6, East Berbice-Corentyne, there were reportedly four names appearing on the paper—Gaspar’s, Yarde’s, Unata De Freitas’ and Sandrene Abrams’. De Freitas and Abrams’ names had appeared on the list circulated in the media of persons nominated for the post of President. The circular had stated that if persons did not wish to have their names appear on the ballot paper, they had one week to declare so.

Furthermore, Jermaine Hermanstyne, who has led protest action against Yarde over the past few weeks, stated last evening that they are “not too worried about the elections” as the court action taken against the union may render the elections null and void.

Following the closing of polls last evening, Gaspar stated his team is excited about the results they have received so far. Yarde could not be reached for comment.

According to reports received, the statement of polls from the Guyana Revenue Authority returned votes of 96-16 in favour of Gaspar. When the polls were checked last evening at the Georgetown Public Hospital, the numbers showed 62-30, also in favour of Gaspar. Up until about 9pm last evening, votes were still being counted at the union hall. Voting at that location had begun just after 8pm.

On Tuesday, the GPSU announced its intention to hold its elections yesterday, after the injunction barring them from proceeding with it until they submitted their financial statements was discharged by Justice Nareshwar Harnanan.

Even so, the union is set to attend court on May 10, to answer to an action filed against it before Justice Priya Sewnarine-Beharry, which accused the members of failing to properly manage the union in accordance with its rules and called for the council to be suspended until they could produce the Treasurer’s reports and/or the Auditor General’s reports for 2004 to 2017 and table them at this April’s Biennial Delegates’ Conference.

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