Leacock: We have to train polling agents against possibility of stealing

By Demion McTair. Updated 1:00 a.m., Monday, July 13, 2020, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Kingstown, St. Vincent (ONE NEWS SVG) – Member of Parliament for the Central Kingstown constituency and Vice President of the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), St. Clair Leacock says that his party has to “be training our agents now against the possibility of stealing”.

Mr. Leacock was responding to a question asked of him on a LIVE program on ANN on Sunday (July12), about the 15-day special registration period in law, issued after an election writ is issued by the Governor General.

In expanding on the training for polling agents, Mr. Leacock says some of the issues include “deliberately poorly designed ballot papers, not being familiar with all the Representation of the People Act provisions, so that they know what to look for in that regard”.

Mr. Leacock says his party has the benefit of the experience of the last election in 2015, where the party brought election petitions and the party is guided by that.

Mr. Leacock’s comments come shortly after attorney and opposition senator, Kay Bacchus Baptiste said on a recent regional program, that she believes illegal ballots were dropped into ballot boxes when polling agents took bathroom breaks in the 2015 general election.

The government and the electoral officials have denied any wrong doing in the last general election and dismiss the opposition’s claims as moves of desperation due to their inability to “accept the will of the people”, having suffered consecutive election losses.

Several international and regional organizations who served as election observers, including the Organization of American States (OAS), and the Commonwealth have said that the 2015 General Election in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was free and fair.

The next general election is due, constitutionally, by December 2020, with a 3-month grace period up to March 2021.

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