Section 67 of the Representation of the People Act provides that the election agent of each group of candidates may appoint one of the candidates as its duly appointed candidate to attend the poll at a polling place. The election agent must do so in writing and deliver it to the returning officer of the district not later than seven days before the election day. Only one person may be so appointed for any one polling place.
The presence of candidates Mr. Donald Ramotar and Dr. Frank Anthony of the PPP/C at Camp Ayanganna on May 2, 2015, reportedly observing the voting of the army personnel, is a violation of the Act. As if that was not bad enough, Mr. Ramotar’s attendance in his Party colours was naked electioneering at a place of polling, which is also forbidden. And then to top it all here, candidate Ramotar is permitted to handle and examine what looks suspiciously like the voters list for that polling place.
GECOM, unreasonably in my view, last week decided to deny citizens the right to vote if they choose to do a conflicting duty to assist the elections process as party agents. Yet is it willing to tolerate and close its eyes to the picture of candidates Ramotar and Anthony violating an express provision of the elections legislation and engaging in politicking at a place of poll. The presiding officer should have excluded at least one, if not both candidates and advised them that they had no lawful business there.
I hope that this will not be repeated come May 11.