The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) on Friday clarified that it has only withdrawn participation from one of the nine constituencies in the Wakenaam Local Authority Area (LAA) for the upcoming November 12th Local Government Elections.
The party issued the clarification after General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo indicated that candidates in the Wakenaam LAA had been withdrawn due to discrepancies on a list of backers in one of the constituencies.
In a statement, the PPP noted that at a press conference on September 24th, 2018, the issue of discrepancies on one of the party’s list of backers was raised and Jagdeo acknowledged that the issue had attracted his attention and that an investigation was underway.
“He then pointed out that the allegation related to one constituency in Wakenaam and that the island is in fact a PPP/C stronghold in which it won fifteen out of the eighteen Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) seats in 2016. Further, the General Secretary gave an undertaking that should his investigation unearth any acts of wrong-doing that the party will withdraw from contesting that constituency,” it said.
As a result, it said that when the question of discrepancies at Wakenaam was once again posed at a news conference last Thursday, it was in the context of his previous statement that Jagdeo indicated that the party did withdraw the candidates as promised.
Noting that LAA has nine constituencies, eight of which were won by the PPP/C at the 2016 polls, party explained that it has withdrawn from contesting Constituency Two (Rush Brook/Maria Johanna), which has 185 listed electors and that it will still be contesting the other eight constituencies and Proportional Representation seats at next month’s polls.
“The PPP/C is the only party contesting in all 80 LAAs, with over 3000 candidates and over 20,000 backers. Further, out of the 596 constituencies across the country issues of irregularity only arose on one of the party’s lists of backers, in one constituency. On this note, the party took a principled position and withdrew its candidate in that disputed constituency,” it added.
Meanwhile, the party noted that APNU, AFC and the URP have all had allegations of fraud and other impropriety leveled against them “in 42 of 80 NDCs.” At Crabwood Creek, Corriverton, Number 63 and Whim Village in Berbice a total of 202 persons objected to the fraudulent inclusion of their names on their list of backers, while adding that similar claims were made at La Grange, La Jalousie and Canal Polder in West Bank Demerara by dozens of persons.
“We hope that the press will highlight the fact that GECOM has accepted several APNU/AFC and URP lists and dozens of names that were fraudulently procured rather than focus and sensationalize the fact that the PPP/C withdrew one candidate, in one constituency in Wakenaam which attracted allegations of irregularity. We continue to maintain that the PPP/C position should be emulated by the APNU/AFC and URP and we hope that the press will urge them to do so,” it further said.