Stephenson King is for the first time seeking his own mandate to become the prime minister of St Lucia, while in Guyana, the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) is aiming to extend its 19-year government rule.
The historic elections are taking place today in both countries – the first time polls are being held on the same day in two Caricom states, according to reports.
King, the United Workers Party (UWP) leader, was appointed in 2007 following the death of former Prime Minister Sir John Compton.
He is being challenged by Kenny Anthony of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP) which was defeated at the 2006 polls.
Overall, five political parties are contesting the election in which more than 151,000 people are registered to vote. Only the UWP and the SLP are fielding full slates of candidates.
Meanwhile, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said all systems were in place for today’s polls.
“We are ready, GECOM is ready to carry out that mandate that was given to us by the state,” GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally stated.
More than 475, 000 nationals are eligible to vote at 2,075 polling stations across the country.
The incumbent PPPC is being challenged by the Alliance for Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Observer missions from the Caribbean Community, the Organization of American States and the Commonwealth Secretariat are monitoring the two general elections.