Ballot papers for Anse Aux Pins by-election arrive


26-July-2012

The electoral team after they had retrieved the ballot papers which came in as checked baggage

They were taken under tight security to “a safe and secured place”, said chairman of the electoral commission Hendrick Gappy, who was on the flight with representatives of the three candidates due to stand in the polls.

The by-election has been called to fill the seat that was left vacant when former member of the National Assembly for the district Dr Jhowla Manoo resigned recently.

Mr Gappy told Nation the commission is always ready to run an election and 30 days – as it is in this case – is the shortest time it can be asked to stage polls.

“We are acting with the necessary speed,” he added.
Mr Gappy said 3,217 ballot papers are needed but “to be on the safe side we printed 3,500”.

The papers came in as checked baggage rather than as cargo, hence they had to go through the normal process rather than be offloaded on the ramp as was the case in the past, chief electoral officer for the by-election Charles Morin said as the team retrieved the papers from the carousel.

Mr Gappy and the candidates’ representatives said they are satisfied with the security arrangements at the Singaporean printers and prefer the printing of the papers being done overseas despite the cost.

“Democracy comes at a cost and if the country has to pay a bit more for the sake of transparency it is justifiable,” said Wilson Joseph of Parti Lepep whose candidate is Meggy Marie.

Emmanuel Delcy who represented Jane Carpin of the Popular Democratic Movement also said he is happy with the process.

Independent candidate Lucas Georges’ representative Selmon Chang-Time said he is happy with the quality of the ballot papers and added that “printing them abroad ensured impartiality”.

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