Some residents in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice) on Friday cast blame on the new A Partnership for National Unity /Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition Government, for the very poor turnout to the polls on Friday.
The residents said they were “deeply frustrated” at the way things have turned out, from a Government they had voted for in the General and Regional Elections less than a year ago.
Regional Chairman Vivekanand Ramphal
“People are frustrated man… you cannot develop a nation and put people under stress,” a resident, who wished not to be named told Guyana Times on Thursday. He said he had the opportunity and time to vote in the first Local Government Elections in 22 years, but opted not to, because of his “frustrated feeling”.
Another resident from West Coast Berbice said “we used to get contracts, we used to get work, things slow down real bad for us here man”. He made a comparison with the United States, noting that the new President was able to make a turnaround for the people there. “Look when Obama took over America, it was real stress, recession and all of that, but the man used to make sure the nation eat, survive and going well… we are not supposed to be like this,” he said, before marching off.
Like other polling places across the country, polls were opened promptly at 06:00h. However, the process at the polling stations had been slow according to officials.
Regional Chairman Vivekananda Ramphal told Guyana Times that the process had been smooth in his area. “Voters are coming out but not in large numbers,” he had told this publication. He was at the time overseeing the process at six polling places.
There was hope that things would have picked up a little later on, however, this did not happened.
Travelling along, through Mahaicony, the situation was the same. This publication was however able to speak with a few voters who expressed hope after casting their votes.
“It talks about empowerment… We hear that this election will give you the ability to have a say in your community about development… so yes I am very excited about this,” said Curtis Clake.
“First of all, I would like to see everyone in the community work as a team. There’s a lot of stuff that we need to do, there’s a lot of work… we are talking about a green Guyana. We have a lot of youth that are picking up stuff like drugs… we need to get sporting facilities and other educational things for the youth for them to find a skill, another resident told Guyana Times.
Over at Belladrum, on the West Coast of Berbice, voters said that they were hoping for change in their community. They believed that if local community members would take on that responsibility, then things would be easily done.
Meanwhile, while the process has been slow in those areas, polling agents at Bush Lot, West Coast Berbice, and Blairmont, West Bank Berbice, said there was a significant turnout by voters in those areas.