The UNC Executive Team which met with the team from the Elections and Boundaries Commission on Friday 12 June 2020, to discuss the conduct of the 2020 General Elections. (Image courtesy UNC)

Top executives from the United National Congress (UNC) met today with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to discuss several issues surrounding the conduct of the 2020 General Elections, which are scheduled for later this year.

In an official statement following today’s meeting, the UNC says they identified certain areas which must be addressed, to ensure the elections are conducted in a free and fair manner.

The full text of the UNC’s statement, follows…

UNC MEETS WITH EBC ON GENERAL ELECTIONS 2020

Today, a contingent from the United National Congress met with and discussed several key election issues with the Elections and Boundaries Commission. The meeting was held at the request of the UNC and is part of the Party’s mandate to work in the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago in securing our democratic rights.

The team raised the following issues namely, voter registration, the ability of members from Commonwealth Territories to vote in Trinidad and Tobago General Elections, questions around the issue of special voting and the ability of the EBC to police the list of electors.

In addition, concerns surrounding the official detailed report of the 2019 Local Government Elections as well as how the COVID-19 restrictions will affect the upcoming voting process.

The party has noticed and taken note of several recurring issues during the 2015 General Elections and the 2019 Local Government Election. These issues cannot be allowed to repeat in the upcoming 2020 General Elections and as such we will continue to work with the EBC to have these prevented.

Our purpose is to make sure these issues: from allegations of voter padding to training of officers to standardize the ways the Presiding Officers manage concerns across the board, are rectified before the 2020 General Election.

Furthermore, we again reiterate the call of the Political Leader, Honourable Kamla Persad Bissessar, for government to briefly reopen the country’s borders to allow for international observers to the general election. These observers played an integral part in the recent Guyana elections as we have seen with even a delegation from CARICOM visiting. The observers will of course be subjected to all necessary mandatory quarantine to ensure they are free from COVID-19 before being allowed to function.

As such, adequate preparations should be made well beforehand for this important step is taken in our election process.

The UNC remains committed to free and fair elections to reflect the true will of the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We have always advocated for the EBC to be properly equipped and resourced to accomplish its mandates and will continue doing so in the run up to the 2020 General Elections.