Nomination Day for Local Government Elections (LGE) in Region Six went off smoothly yesterday with no major issues, according to the contesting parties.
At the Bloomfield/Whim Neighborhood Democratic Council (NDC) office, members and supporters of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) arrived at around 3am, while Alliance for Change (AFC) representatives arrived at around 9:30am yesterday to hand in their lists for the November 12th polls.
When Stabroek News arrived in Whim around 8 am, about 15 persons were present for the PPP/C, while around seven persons later arrived, representing the AFC.
Fassad Baskh, from Bloomfield Village, Corentyne, whose name is on the AFC’s list said that if elected, this would be the first time he would be a councillor in the area. “…We have lots of councillors in our area who ain’t really doing anything so I decide to be a part,” he said, explaining his decision to run.
When asked what fresh he would bring to the table, Baskh said he plans to work on fixing streets throughout the area as he claimed that they are in a deplorable condition. Additionally, he promised regular clearing of trenches and drains and the removal of animals from the streets.
Mavis Nagamootoo, who is also on the AFC list, noted that she thinks nothing is being done generally in her area. As such, she plans to work on drainage and road issues. “I plan to do a better job because nothing has been done for the village for the past couple of years and I would like the environment clean so that people will feel good about it,” she said.
Representative of the Prime Minister’s Office in Region Six Gobin Harbhajan was also present at Whim and he said that he noticed yesterday that a lot of young persons have come on board with the AFC in that area. “What I see here today is a lot of young people come on board to run and represent their communities…over the years, we would have had some ups and downs but I believe if elected to serve, they would take a stand,” he said.
When questioned about his presence at the Whim area although he resides in the Upper Corentyne, he said, “it’s not special attention to the Whim area for no reason, I’m all over the place…this won’t be a walk in the park for the PPP/C as people are saying; it would be a fight.”
Hemwattie Latchman, who submitted the PPP/C list, stated that the NDC has money to do drainage and road works which residents have been calling for. She noted that drainage is a major issue within the community and with time, she believes, if given the opportunity, they would be able to put measures in place to solve the problem. Latchman further highlighted that the idea of street lights within the area is also on the books if they are given the support by residents.
Meanwhile, over in Corriverton, the day had a few hiccups, which led to PPP/C members expressing frustration with the Returning Officer. According to PPP/C rep Adrian Anamayah, their representatives were present at the location since Thursday and were given a card early Friday morning which indicated that they would be the first party to submit their list. He noted that he was told by the Returning Officer the previous day that the person with their list present with them, would be the first to submit. He said his party and members of APNU were there but it was only the PPP/C who had their list at around 5am when the officer arrived.
After complaints from the APNU representatives, the number one ticket was retrieved from the PPP/C reps and APNU reps were allowed to submit their list first.
Anamayah also claimed that the APNU representatives and supporters began to use expletives when they noticed that the PPP/C was given the ticket to submit first.
Both the AFC and the United Republican Party (URP) also submitted their lists at Corriverton to contest the LGE.
Over at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) office in New Amsterdam, APNU representatives were the first to arrive since they held their spot since Thursday afternoon. The PPP/C was the second party there to hand in their list with URP handing in right after, followed by the AFC.
Mayor of New Amsterdam Winifred Haywood, after submitting her party’s list, said that it was a smooth process.
At the Canefield/Enterprise NDC office, at around 11am, only the PPP/C and the URP had handed in their lists. Over at the Rose Hall (Corentyne) Primary School, it was a peaceful atmosphere. The two APNU representatives present shook hands with the 12 representatives present for the PPP/C as they wished each other the best of luck.
The Mayor of Rose Hall Town told Stabroek News, “We had no problem, everything went smooth.”
Chairman of Region Six David Armogan explained that some clarification was needed about the employment of one of the persons on their list. However, he too dubbed the process a smooth one. Armogan noted that the PPP/C plans to contest all the areas throughout Region Six.
The URP also submitted a list to contest the municipality. According to a representative, they plan to contest all three municipalities in Region Six along with the 52 – 74 NDC, the Crabwood Creek, Canefield/Enterprise and Fort Ordinance areas.
According to APNU representative Barbara Pilgrim, the coalition plans to contest all three municipalities and the entire Region Six except the Kintyre/Borlam area. Dereck Basdeo, of the AFC, told this publication that they will be contesting two municipalities: Rose Hall Town and New Amsterdam, along with some 10 NDCs throughout Region Six. He noted that they will not be contesting the Kintyre/Borlam and Gibraltar/Fyrish areas.
Stabroek News was told that after 2pm, only the PPP/C had submitted a list to contest the Kintyre/ Borlam area.
Security guards keeping spaces
Meanwhile, the PPP/C yesterday spoke out about security guards in certain areas holding spaces for political parties although no representatives were present. Stabroek News was told that in the Plegtanker/Koorberaadt NDC this was done, which led to APNU submitting their list first.
Armogan yesterday noted that the idea of guards holding spots is wrong, irregular and illegal. “That is something we have to take up with the elections commission because guards are not supposed to keep space for political parties, their job is to ensure security in the buildings,” he said. The Chairman alleged that it was the guards who were placed at the schools. “I don’t know if they were paid or what,” he said.
Although it was Nomination Day yesterday, residents of the ancient county went about their day normally. One taxi driver told this publication that he was unaware that it was Nomination Day. After the concept was explained to him, he said, “I don’t really follow these things but I glad to know now.”