Thursday, October 20, 2011

GECOM condemns acts of vandalism, threats against activists

Destroyed PPP/C billboard

THE Guyana Elections Commission yesterday said that disruption of political meetings and destruction or defacing of posters is in contrast to the principles documented in the proposed Code of Conduct for Political Parties. This is according to a press statement from GECOM. “The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has received information from political parties complaining that individuals associated with opposing political parties had (i) disrupted political meetings, and (ii) destroyed/defaced posters used in campaign strategies,” GECOM said.
GECOM “unequivocally condemns such occurrences as being in opposition to the spirit of the proposed Code.”
The Commission called upon all political parties and their members, activists and supporters to abstain from any action which could generate discord in the pre, peri, and post-elections periods.
“Further, GECOM invites all stakeholders, especially the political parties, to recognize that peace and public order, freedom of political campaigning, and compliance with electoral laws and regulations are essential and of paramount importance to the conduct of free, fair and credible elections,” the GECOM statement said.
“In view of the foregoing, the Commission calls upon the leadership of all of the political parties which will be contesting the 2011 General and Regional Elections, to urge their candidates, agents, members and supporters to contribute positively to their respective election campaigns towards ensuring that the Elections are conducted in an atmosphere which[is] devoid of intimidation and fear,” he said.
On Friday last, PPP executive member Mr. Robert Persaud, speaking at a press conference at the party’s Freedom House headquarters, spoke of the attacks that members of his party came under when carrying out their campaign activities in South Georgetown and in other places. At that time, Persaud spoke of his party’s writing of a letter to the Chairman of GECOM asking that the body take action and urged the Commission to demand of the political parties to sign the Code of Conduct.
And in another act of vandalism, the PPP/C on Tuesday said an attempt was made to torch one of its billboards at 6th Avenue and 2nd Bridge, Diamond Housing Scheme.
The party said this latest act of vandalism targeting PPP/C related campaign materials is believed to have occurred sometime between Sunday night and early Monday morning.

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