Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has blamed the absence of Local Government Elections (LGE) for over 22 years for the low voter turnout on Friday.
Speaking with reporters in New Amsterdam, the Prime Minister who visited polling stations in Georgetown, East Coast Demerara, West Coast Berbice, New Amsterdam and on the Corentyne, said there was very poor voter turnout in the areas visited.
“It is my task to report that the turnout at the Local Government Elections will be very low… we know that not having Local Government Elections now for 19 years is what is going to impact on the response of people because many persons, young people, they are not infused with this whole idea about local government. They don’t know what it is, how it works, how it will affect their lives, how it will provide jobs for them or meaningful engagement; life skills,” Nagamootoo said.
He is of the view that if LGEs, constitutionally due every three years, are held according to the stipulated time, then more persons would have shown an interest in going to the polls.
Region 6 votes
Meanwhile, in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), candidates were disappointed with the low voter turnout.
A total of 79,137 voters were listed to cast ballots in the three towns of New Amsterdam, Rose Hall and Corriverton, along with 16 Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs).
Voting was expected to take place in 324 constituencies but the voter turnout was reportedly less than 30 per cent.
Several candidates told Guyana Times that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had not captured the attention of its audience with the advertisements placed in newspapers and on television.
“If you ask most people, especially the young ones, you will see they don’t understand the importance of Local Government Elections… I think GECOM was not as effective as it ought to,” said Patricia Lynch, who was contesting one of the constituencies in New Amsterdam.
The need for more education to be provided for voters was the expression many shared with this publication.
Meanwhile, several residents of East Canje said they did not know who were the candidates contesting in their constituency.
Along some villages on the Corentyne, the lack of voter education was evident. Many were of the view that they were casting ballots for national elections.