Liberty & Justice Party accuses GECOM of attempting to “disenfranchise smaller parties”

Executive Members of the Liberty and Justice Party

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has been accused by the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) of attempting to “disenfranchise smaller [political] parties” ahead of the March 2, 2020 General Elections.

The LJP said it expressed its concerns to the Carter Centre on Thursday, during a meeting between the two groups. The Carter Centre is an election observer mission which has been overseeing Guyana’s elections for the last few decades.

The party met with Carlos Valenzuela, Senior Electoral Advisor, and Nicholas Jahr, Political and Electoral Analyst.

“The LJP delegation were able to share the imbalance, electoral fraudulent practices and their concerns about GECOM’s lack of transparency on logistics and electoral procedures which the commission has designed to disenfranchise the smaller parties” the party said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the statement, Presidential Candidate of the party, Lenox Shuman also expressed the view that the country’s electoral system is “very laborious and poorly designed”. The statement did not provide an explanation of what he meant by this.

Further, the party said it informed the Carter Centre about alleged attempts by the two major parties – the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – to spread “misinformation” about the LJP joining with either of them.

“John Flores, LJP Vice Chairman and Keisha Benedict, LJP Region 9 Head, were able to inform the Carter Center delegates of the PPP/c and APNU/AFC’s clandestine on the ground campaign of misinforming the public by telling them that the LJP have joined them or the other party” the statement revealed.

LJP said too that its Treasurer, Andrew Ramcharran also enquired if the Carter Center would make public statements regarding the elections, and was assured that it would be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, Shuman expressed his hope that the presence of the Carter Centre would oversee a fair and transparent election, and that GECOM would execute its duties “above board” with all contesting parties being treated equally. Nomination Day for the March 2 elections is set for January 10, 2020.