EBC accused of political bias by both UNC and NTA


EBC accused of political bias by both UNC and NTA

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) is being accused of political bias by both the UNC and the NTA.

On Tuesday, an EBC statement said 373 candidates will contest the elections, saying, “Ten political parties have put forward candidates with the People’s National Movement being the only political party with candidates in all 141 electoral districts.” The EBC named the nine other parties.

The EBC said the information presented in the press release came from the nomination papers filed by the candidates.

However, a statement by UNC PRO Dr Kirk Meighoo alleged the EBC “has again exposed its political bias through a highly partisan media release” on the election.

He said: “In an inappropriate and curious public statement, the EBC found it necessary to announce that the People’s National Movement was ‘the only political party with candidates in all 141 electoral districts.'”

The party said that assertion was outrageous and disturbing since the EBC’s constitutional remit was to independently conduct elections without any perception of prejudice or unfair influence.

“The UNC and NTA are contesting all 141 electoral districts in an electoral accommodation, but this important fact was not stated in the EBC’s release.”

The UNC dubbed the EBC statement as “prejudicial” and indicative of the PNM encroaching upon the EBC.

“In light of the damaging declaration by the EBC and other previously expressed concerns, the United National Congress once more calls for independent international observers to oversee the August 14 local government polls.

“The UNC calls upon conscientious citizens and respected impartial organisations to publicly support this legitimate and justifiable demand.”

NTA head Gary Griffith said the EBC press release “could have easily been mistaken as a release coming straight out of Balisier House itself.”

He said by listing the PNM separately, and saying they were the only party fielding candidates for all seats whilst listing the ‘other’ parties in alphabetical order, sends the wrong message.

“The EBC needed to use an alphabetical order or numerical order, not both, as this is not only confusing, it creates in the minds of even the most neutral citizen the perception that the EBC is biased and politically compromised.

“To deliberately neglect the fact that the UNC and the NTA formed a strategic alliance to contest all 141 seats reeks of unprofessionalism if not blatant political bias.”