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PLP promises voters it is safe to go to polls

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Different times: David Burt and PLP party workers celebrate election victory at Alaska Hall in 2017 (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The Progressive Labour Party has appealed to voters to go to the polls tomorrow and promised that Covid-19 safety measures would be enforced.David Burt, the Premier, said yesterday that safety at polling stations had been a key concern for voters in his constituency.He said: “Everything is being done to ensure that voting on election day will be safe and secure. Our candidates through this campaign have been masked and canvassing in a socially distant manner.“At the polling stations we will refrain from shaking hands or hugging our supporters, and we will all be keeping physically distant.”Mr Burt added: “A low voter turnout does not benefit democracy.“What we want to have is a great democratic event so, from that perspective we are pulling out all the stops to ensure that persons feel safe and secure when exercising their right to vote.”Mr Burt added that the PLP’s management of the pandemic was a key reason why voters should return the party to office.He said: “I have seen a lot of chatter in the community questioning the need for continued vigilance against the virus, with some persons even going so far as to post on social media that the pandemic is over.“Now is not the time to let our guard down.“On a political level, it is important that we keep the same force and political will in place to ensure we do not slip back in our fight against this virus.”The party’s 2017 election victory was celebrated by supporters outside its headquarters on Court Street, Hamilton, but Mr Burt said he would urge supporters to celebrate safely from home if the PLP returned to power.Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said the ministry has given the Parliamentary Registrar all of the election recommendations from the Caribbean Public Health Authority and all of the personal protection equipment required.Ms Wilson added: “I can assure you that everything they have asked for from our ministry has been provided.She added that all returning officers, presiding officers and candidates have been invited to undergo free saliva Covid screening between 6pm and 9pm today at the Perot Post Office on Hamilton’s Queen Street.Ms Wilson said: “Across the region we have seen a number of elections since the Covid-19 pandemic started. “Anguilla, St Kitts & Nevis and Jamaica have all held their elections this year without significant, serious problems or spikes in cases related to Covid-19.”