Election update: Guyana's ruling party wants re-count

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC) – The ruling People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Wednesday said it had asked for a recount in all 10 regions across the country, hinting also at the possibility of going to court to prevent the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from disclosing the results of Monday’s general election.
GECOM Chairman Dr Steve Surujbally said that the PPP/C, which is seeking to extend its 22-year hold on power here, wants a recount of several ballots throughout each of the 10 electoral districts.
Asked by reporters what this would mean for the announcement of the results, Surujbally responded "once the lawyers and the legal matters get involved with this thing it suddenly becomes greatly problematic".
But Surujbally told reporters he expects to have a position given to the Commission when he next meets with the press later on Wednesday.
The PPP/C said it had become necessary to seek the recount "after it was realised some of our accounting agents were forced to flee some of the polling stations out of fear".
"While it was declared that voting was generally free and fair, as the counting phase began some of our agents were intimidated and fled for their own safety," said Frank Anthony, minister of youth, sports and culture,
He told a news conference that in addition, the PPP/C had also "noticed an extremely high number of rejected ballots which we believe may have resulted following the absence of our accounting agents in some of these areas.
"We believe that in keeping with the electoral laws, voters’ intent must be taken into consideration. Also in some paces there were usually high voter turnouts, more than the average national turnout which raises suspicion of possible electoral transgression".
Anthony said that the party had taken note of comments made by a senior official of the coalition alliance who has called for the recount not to be disallowed.
"Our party is of the firm view that these recounts should be allowed," he said, adding that the PPP/C is also pleased that GECOM "has accepted the calls for the recount and has asked that there be patience as this process unfolds".

Related story: Opposition party claims victory in Guyana's general election

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