The United National Congress (UNC) wants a virtual meeting with the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to have unresolved issues addressed ahead of the 2020 general elections.
According to UNC general secretary Dave Tankoo during a press conference yesterday, the party has noticed recurring issues during the 2015 general elections and the 2019 local government election. These issues, he indicated, cannot be allowed to repeat in the upcoming general elections.
“Our purpose is to make sure these mistakes, the multiple mistakes: from allegations of voter padding to training of officers to various ways in which multiple variations which even the presiding officers manage similar concerns across the board. We have grave concerns that we want to raise with the EBC,” Tankoo said.
He explained that the party recently wrote to the EBC seeking a meeting but were told that with COVID-19 protocols in place, the commission would be unable to accommodate the delegation of six and suggested that only two members attend.
“I responded on behalf of the United National Congress to indicate that was unacceptable- completely unacceptable. The response from the EBC was then that they were going to seek an external conference room that can accommodate fairly larger meetings,” he explained.
However, he said the EBC was not successful and is, therefore, calling on the commission to “get with the technology.”
Tankoo also reiterated the call of the Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar for government to briefly reopen the country’s borders to allow for international observers to the general election. These observers, he said, played an integral part in the recent Guyana elections.
“There are already protocols which can be put in place, which have been put in place and we have the fullest confidence in the officers of the Ministry of Health to ensure…the right procedures and protocols are put in place to be allowed to come into Trinidad and Tobago and participate in the democratic process,” he said.