Nikoli Edwards

Sascha Wilson

Progressive Party’s (PP) leader Nikoli Edwards intends to seek legal advice regarding his party symbol being incorrectly printed on the ballot paper.

Edwards revealed this as he took the Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) to task for its “erroneous and condescending” press statement on the matter.

On Tuesday the PP sent out a press statement complaining that EBC failed to respond to their letter regarding the error.

In response to his statement, the EBC stated that candidates have a responsibility to ensure that their political symbol is correct. The Commission further stated that Edwards, the candidate for the San Fernando West constituency, failed to inform the EBC of the error when he filed his nomination papers.

The PP’s symbol is a flame with the name of the party, but on the ballot paper, the name of the party is missing.

Edwards said, “The Progressive Party has taken note of the EBC’s response which is erroneous and condescending.” Edwards said that on July 10 during the pre-examination of nomination papers he was not shown any document of how the PP symbol would appear on the ballot paper.

He said on Nomination Day after filing nomination papers he asked the returning officer to look at the symbols. He said he immediately indicated to the returning officer that the PP’s symbol was not the correct symbol approved by the EBC, the Government Printer, and the PP.

“I left it to him to make the necessary corrections in liaising with the EBC.” Following this, he said his deputy political leader and electoral agent attended a special ballot presentation where they saw for the first time the ballot paper and took note of the error. He said they wrote to the EBC on Saturday, but when they got no response they issued the press statement. Not only was the EBC statement erroneous, but he said it was also condescending because it stated that the electors would not be confused since the PP only had one candidate.

“That is immaterial to anything that we are presenting whether it is one seat of 41 seats. Each candidate and party should be treated with respect and dignity and we do not feel that the EBC is conducting itself in such a manner.”

For a first time party or candidate, he said the electoral process is not very accommodating.

“This, in our mind is exactly why we continue to exist in what many people call a two-party system. The EBC has a responsibility to ensure that anyone who wishes to interact with the electoral system has all of the information available to him and to her and this is something the EBC is not doing at the moment.”

The PP called on the EBC to respond formally to their letter and for them to find a way forward.