Guyana's chief elections officer report shows victory for ruling coalition

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Guyana's chief elections officer report shows victory for ruling coalition

Saturday, July 11, 2020

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield has presented a report to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) showing a victory for the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) in the disputed March 2 regional and general election.

Lowenfield who had earlier missed the 11:00 am (local time) deadline for submission, listed the total valid votes as 475,118, giving the coalition 236, 777 and the main opposition People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 229, 330.

As a result, he has assigned the coalition 32 seats in the 65- member Parliament, 31 to the PPP/C and one seat to three of the smaller opposition parties.

One of the three opposition nominated members on the seven-member GECOM, Sase Gunraj, told reporters that the report did not reflect the results of the national recount that ended on June 9 with the PPP/C claiming that it had won the polls by more than 15,000 votes.

Gunraj said Lowenfield and the three government nominated Commissioners did not show up today for the meeting and as a result there could not be a quorum.

He said that what Lowenfield did instead was to send the final report to the Commission containing the alternate numbers.

GECOM chair retired Justice Claudette Singh on Friday informed Lowenfield that he should revisit her letter of July 9 to prepare his report which would start the process of releasing the official results of the election.

Lowenfield had earlier written to Singh indicating that he needed guidance as to whether the report should be premised on Section 18 of the Election Laws or on Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“In response to your request for guidance on which the results of the March 2, 2020 elections can be declared, you are accordingly advised that my letter dated July 9, 2020 stands,” Singh responded, informing Lowenfield “you are therefore required to submit your report by 11.00 hrs on 11th July 2020”.

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