No “night shift” in front of polling stations – Police Top Brass
…assures PPP of adequate security measures
Days before the March 2 General and Regional Elections, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was on Friday given assurances that the Guyana Police Force (GPF) is adequately prepared for the upcoming polls.
Only Thursday, General Secretary of the PPP, Bharrat Jagdeo, raised questions about the readiness of the Joint Services to ensure that the elections are conducted in a safe and secure environment.
However, on Friday, Jagdeo, along with PPP/C Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali, and Prime Ministerial Candidate, retired Brigadier Mark Phillips met with Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, to discuss the Party’s security concerns.
During the meeting, the Top Cop was supported by Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for Administration, Paul Williams; Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for Operations, Maxine Graham; Head of Special Branch, Nigel Hoppie, and acting Deputy Commissioner with responsibility for Law Enforcement, Michael Kingston.
Some of the issues discussed at the meeting included the Police Force’s operational readiness for Election Day activities, such as adequate transportation and personnel to provide security at Polling Places.
According to the PPP/C, its team specifically raised, as a matter of concern to many voters, the risk associated with persons congregating in close proximity to Polling Places after they would have cast their votes or at the close of polls.
“The Police Commissioner gave the PPP/C team his assurance of the Force’s readiness to provide adequate security measures for the 2020 General and Regional Elections. He informed too that ranks of the Guyana Police Force will be deployed to secure all polling places, as well as ensure security arrangements for ballot boxes,” a missive from the Opposition party detailed.
It was noted that the Top Cop also assured that the Force will ensure that the provisions of the Representation of the People Act are enforced, relative to ensuring no congregation of crowds within 200 yards of polling stations; ensuring no unauthorised person obstructs or interferes with access to, or egress from, a polling place and that no unauthorised person obstructs or interferes with the movement of ballot boxes and other material pertaining to the Monday’s General and Regional Elections.
On the other hand, the Police Commissioner also raised the issue of political parties encouraging their supporters to act in compliance with the law.
In response, the PPP General Secretary made it clear that the Police Force can expect full cooperation on this from the leadership of the PPP/C.
The PPP/C delegation thanked the Police Commissioner for the meeting and stressed that the Party is committed to a peaceful electoral process.