International observers want resumption of tabulation of votes in Guyana

International observers want resumption of tabulation of votes in Guyana

Saturday, March 07, 2020

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Guyana (CMC) – International observer teams yesterday called for the resumption of the tabulations of results in Region Four as Guyana remains in limbo as to the official outcome of Monday's regional and general elections.

The international observer missions from the Commonwealth, the Organization of American States (OAS), the European Union, and The Carter Center, in a joint statement, said that “the tabulation of results for the election in Region 4 was interrupted and remains incomplete.

“The law requires that tabulation must be conducted in the presence of party agents and observers. Until this transparent process takes place, the counting of votes recorded for Region 4 remains incomplete,” they said.

“The transparent tabulation of results for Region 4 must be resumed in order to proceed to the establishment of national results,” they said further, adding “a calm and conducive environment must be provided by the police. We urge all political parties to adhere to the codes of conduct signed by them.

“The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), including the chairperson, the commissioners, the chief election officer, the returning officer and deputy returning officers in Region 4, must be available and committed to establish the results for Region 4 in accordance with the law. Until this occurs, the result of these elections cannot be credibly declared,” the groups said.

On Thursday GECOM released to the media the results for Region Four and, if certified, would result in the ruling coalition – A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) – defeating the main Opposition People's Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) by more than 59,000 votes.

GECOM public relations officer, Yolanda Ward had forwarded, without comment images of Statutory Declaration Form 24. The Form shows the incumbent APNU+AFC securing 136,335 votes with the PPP/C earning 77,258.

Meanwhile, President David Granger yesterday held talks with secretary general of the Caribbean Community (Caricom) Irwin La Rocque and, according to a statement issued afterwards, “President Granger, during his briefing, reiterated that the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections were orderly, and in full compliance with the law and the Constitution”.

The statement said that Granger, who also met with an OAS delegation, “reminded that GECOM is a constitutional body and it is unlawful for the executive to interfere in the operations of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

“The president said also that it is not the role of the executive to interfere in the work of the commission. The president has not acted unlawfully,” the statement said, quoting Granger as saying “we are awaiting the final declaration from GECOM”.

The statement said President Granger had also briefed Caricom chairman and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, as well as the Commonwealth Secretary General Baroness Patricia Scotland, “via telephone”.

Earlier, the 15-member regional integration grouping, of which Guyana is a member, had issued a statement saying it is “concerned about the allegations being made about the Guyana elections”, and called on the Guyana Elections Commission “to ensure that all legal and procedural processes are fully complied with”.

“The community calls on the Guyana Elections Commission to ensure that all legal and procedural processes are faithfully complied with, in respect of the vote count and the declaration of results, to ensure that the outcome of the polls expresses the will of the people of Guyana. We call on all parties and Guyanese to remain calm while these issues are resolved,” the statement added.

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