More than 8,000 lawmen vote ahead of Guyana’s March 2 general elections

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says more than 80 per cent of the members of the disciplined forces voted on Friday as Guyana began the process of electing a new government on March 2.

GECOM said that 8,369 of the 10,226 members cast their ballot on Friday. About 5,400 of those votes came from officers in the Guyana Police Force.

It said that 2, 539 members of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) cast ballots while the 430 members of the Guyana Prison Service voted.

GECOM said 60 polling stations across the country were used during Friday’s exercise.

Major political parties

But GECOM chairman, retired Justice Claudette Singh, who visited several polling places to observe the voting process, responded to accusations that GECOM was engaging in voter suppression by moving polling places out of private residences.

She said 91 private residences across Guyana are still being used as polling places and the reduction in the use of private residences is in response to lobbying from the major political parties.

As a result, 95 per cent of polling stations have been moved to public buildings such as schools, community centres and churches. Schools will be closed on March 2 to facilitate the vote.

She said GECOM is taking all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections here.