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Dr Friday calls on Deputy Supervisor of Elections to step aside

Dr Friday calls on Deputy Supervisor of Elections to step aside
Left to Right:Opposition Leader Dr Lowraine Godwin Friday & Deputy Supervisor of Elections Sylvester King

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Opposition Leader Dr Godwin Friday has called for Sylvester King, the deputy supervisor of elections to resign from his post.

Friday was speaking on the New Times programme yesterday, where he commented on several issues that were to be dealt with in the now shelved Private Member’s motion on electoral reform.

The opposition leader said that in 2017, he wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves to highlight issues to be dealt with following the 2015 General Elections.

One of those was a call for the then supervisor of elections, Sylvia Findlay-Scrubb to be removed.

“She has resigned, but I do think the deputy supervisor of elections (Sylvester King) as well should come down, should resign before next election, because that is a post …that is a senior position. All the things that happened in 2015 are still on his watch,” Friday said on radio yesterday.

While the opposition has no say as to who occupies the positions at the Electoral Office, Friday urged the current supervisor of elections, Dora James to function “in accordance with her office as an independent office with a very heavy responsibility and make sure that she does, because we are keeping our eyes open”.

The opposition leader said that another issue for electoral reform includes “impartiality or lack thereof of election officials”.

He said there needs to be more transparency in the selection process of presiding officers and poll clerks so that everyone has an equal opportunity regardless of their political affiliation.

“That is not transparency and certainly, that doesn’t bode well for democracy. When people go into a polling station, you see somebody who was campaigning with a candidate a few days earlier, and then they’re sitting there as a presiding officer? How you consider that system as partial and transparent?” Friday said.

And he called on the government to have a debate on these issues in Parliament so that they can be ventilated in the public arena.

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