North Island voters could not cast their ballots at Silhouette


30-September-2011

The North Island workers on arrival at Silhouette, only to find out that it was too late for them to cast their ballots

A boat from Labriz Silhouette went to fetch them as requested at 12.30pm. Sandra Pouponneau, Front Office officer at North Island Resort, told the press that since they had to board by way of a small dinghy, taking three people at a time, the whole operation took about half an hour.

They subsequently left North Island at 1pm, unaware of the polling schedule and arrived at Silhouette at 1.40pm, by which time the polling station was long closed and the officials were having lunch.

Ms Popounneau, backed by an irate group of fellow workers, said that they all left without eating anything. They then had to wait until close to 4pm to get a boat to take them back to North Island.

They appealed to election officials to do something, since they felt they were being denied the right to vote through no fault of theirs.

They were told that the two ballot boxes in use had been sealed and it was illegal for them to be re-opened to continue balloting. 

It was suggested that they travel to Mahe tomorrow and vote in the districts where they are registered.

For those registered on Praslin and the Inner Islands, a station will be open at the National Library Building from 7am to 12 noon.

The GM of Hilton Labriz, Etienne Gaillez, said that North Island Resort had requested a boat as early as 6.30am which was too early and for another at 12.30pm which was despatched.
 
He said he had been forced to reschedule boat departures from Silhouette to accomnodate this.
He said he was unaware that the polling station would close at 1pm.
 
“Why didn’t the voting station wait? he asked, noting that he had cooperated fully with the democratic process and that for the presidential election had sent a boat to fetch voters from North Island at 9am and there was no problem.

Nation could not interview the North Island management, but there was clearly a lack of communication between the two island resorts on the issue of scheduled polling time for their workers.

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