Colourful Georgetown streets came alive as parties submit candidate lists

first_imgNomination DayIt is said that there is strength in numbers, and on Friday when the political parties took to the streets for Nomination Day, that strength was in full display as the streets leading to Umana Yana were transformed into a sea of red and green.An overhead shot of the PPP/C’s sea of redNomination Day is considered as one of the most significant days leading up to the General and Regional Elections which is to be hosted on March 2, 2020.Not wanting to be left behind, supporters of the various political parties took to the streets as they joined their leaders heading to the Umana Yana in Kingston, Georgetown to submit the lists of candidates.The atmosphere was charged as the procession of supporters, led by their leaders, chanted the slogans of their respective parties.Nomination Day is significant in the sense that it guarantees the political parties a spot on the ballot paper once they have met the criteria outlined by the Guyana Elections Commission and catered for under the laws governing the elections body.APNU/AFC supportersThe parties have now submitted their list of candidates who they anticipate would take up seats in Parliament as well as on the Regional Democratic Councils. The lists submitted were the General Elections List, or the National Top-up List as it is called, along with the Geographical Constituency List.They will now await verification and approval from GECOM, which is expected to be completed by January 19.Under the list system, political parties have to submit three lists of candidates. The National Top-up List, the Geographical Constituency List and the Regional Candidates List. Candidates would be extracted from these lists to serve in the National Assembly as well as on Regional Democratic Councils since 25 of the 65 seats in the House are allocated to the 10 Administrative Regions (Geographical Constituency List) and the other 40 from the National Top-up List.Some 13 parties have submitted their lists of candidates to contest the General and Regional Elections or in some cases, just regional elections. This election is dubbed as the ‘mother of all elections’ since it was birthed from the passage of a No-Confidence Motion, which was successfully passed in the National Assembly over a year ago.PPP/C Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali, Prime Ministerial Candidate Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips, and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo leading the chargeWhile the process has birthed a number of new political parties, it was evident that the incumbent Government – A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) coalition – and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) remain the frontrunners.The energy in the two camps was unmatched as both parties mobilised their supporters from all over the country – what can only be described as a “clash of crowds”.PPP/C assembled on Robb Street in front of their headquarters – Freedom House – while APNU/AFC assembled at Parade Ground.There were several music trucks blasting the campaign songs for the major players while their supporters sang loudly.President David Granger and his running mate, Khemraj Ramjattan, leading the processionThis election saw a shift in things since GECOM took a decision to move the Nomination Day proceedings from the badly-dilapidating City Hall to Umana Yana. This gave the political parties a bigger space for their supporters which ultimately resulted in the lack of a clash among rival supporters.The APNU/AFC coalition, led by President David Granger and Prime Ministerial Candidate Khemraj Ramjattan, were the first to arrive at the venue. They presented their list to loud cheers and horns blasting from their large group of supporters.The smaller parties only came with essential personnel and lack of fanfare, noting that it is what happens at the ballot rather than mobilising crowds to march with them as they file Nomination Day papers.The PPP/C was the fourth party to present their list to Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield. Their mammoth-sized procession was led by Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali, Prime Ministerial Candidate Brigadier (retired) Mark Phillips and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo.last_img

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