Dangriga prepares for bi-election

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Updated: July 3, 2015

On Wednesday, July 8, voters of the Dangriga constituency will be going to the polls to elect a new standard bearer. This is after the seat was left vacant by the resignation of Ivan Ramos.  The men looking to fill the vacant post are Anthony Sabal from the People’s United Party, Frank Pawpa Mena of the United Democratic Party and Independent candidate Pastor Lue.  A meeting was called by the returning officer on Thursday with all parties involved.

Harry Arzu reporting…

“The Bi-elections for the Dangriga electoral division including the areas of Sarawee and Hope Creek is only four days away. In this light, the returning officer Colin Griffith held a meeting with the candidates and their party supporters yesterday. Love News spoke with Griffith.

Colin Griffith, Returning Officer

“We recognize the importance to communicate with stakeholders, being political parties and also the media. We went over the rules of the elections; we discussed the importance of the hundred yards line and the appointment of agents and the behavior of agents within the polling station and the hundred yards line and so also to get their commitments, abide by the rules as it relates to the upcoming bi-elections.

Harry Arzu, Love News

“Was there an issue in regards to incapacitated individuals or voters?”

Colin Griffith, Returning Officer

“Yes there was some objections in my view when it relates to incapacitated voters. I have informed them that I will communicate with the elections and boundaries department and by tomorrow I shall inform them. I am satisfied that my view is correct which is, that an incapacitated voter has the right to choose the person of his or her choosing to mark his or her vote and there was an objection that that process should be viewed by agents from the political parties and the constitutional right of that individual is that, that person’s vote should be secret. So I don’t see how a political agent could view how a person votes without a person wanting that agent to view how he or she votes. So I am satisfied that this is the process that and how it will be done where incapacitated voters are concerned, that they have the right to choose the person to mark their vote for them.”

Harry Arzu, Love News

“Talk to us about some of the rules regarding the upcoming bi-elections in regards to agents and the candidates as well as supporters.”

Colin Griffith, Returning Officer

“Well we have expressed to them that there should be no campaigning within the hundred yards line. One of the things that is of concern to myself is the use of cellphones in the polling stations. We have informed political parties where it is criminal for them to have voters take pictures of their ballots. The last election that had occurred. We have also asked the presiding officers to be very vigilant and we will inform them also when they come in not to use their cellphone when they are behind the compartment to cast their vote. It is a law that has been in place since 2008 and we will try our best to enforce that.”

Harry Arzu, Love News

“It is expected though that on Wednesday of next week, the day that the bi-election is slated for, Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek will be flooded with party supporters from across the country who will be assisting their respective party in bringing out voters in an effort to win the bi-election. Moreover it must be noted that most or all hotels in this municipality are booked out for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week and it is also expected that the local economy around here will be boosted up a bit when the political parties unleash their resources. In the meantime, the campaigns continue.”

The Dangriga constituency which comprises Dangriga, Sarawee and Hope Creek has a total of six thousand two hundred and seventy five registered voters