Diplomats urge calm as Guyana awaits results of elections

Diplomats urge calm as Guyana awaits results of elections

Wednesday, March 04, 2020

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GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — Western diplomats yesterday urged calm as the Guyana population awaits the outcome of Monday's regional and General Elections.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is projecting that full preliminary results could be available by today as it blamed a number of factors, including inclement weather in one of the regions, for a further delay in announcing the complete preliminary results..

The GECOM yesterday warned of a fake website posting results of the elections.

“Please be advised that there is a fake page under the name 'Guyanas Election Commissions' purporting to be GECOM's official Facebook page. The page has been releasing inaccurate information with an intent to cause mischief and confusion. Please be alert and ignore all such content. All official updates would be posted on GECOM's official page,” GECOM warned.

United States Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch, said while the results are critical to alleviate the anxieties among citizens, accuracy is important.

“My message is just to wait and hear the tabulations of the results and then when the Guyanese people have spoken to accept those results,” she said, praising GECOM for its conduct of Monday's polls.

“I think it was a great day yesterday and I look forward to continued peace as the process goes on,” the diplomat said.

British High Commissioner Greg Quinn, who travelled to different parts of the country observing the electoral process, said GECOM must be allowed to execute its duties.

“I was here in 2015, this is my second election, the process here is slow because of the checks and balances that go into it. I fully understand why things are slow, but at the same time we all want results as quickly as possible, but of course we want credible and accurate results and so therefore that's the important thing.

“So everybody just needs to be patient and let GECOM do what GECOM needs to do,” he added.

“I would like to commend GECOM on a very professional and dedicated system yesterday, now like everybody else, the citizens of Guyana and the rest of the world, we are anxious for those results and let's hope we get those results as soon as possible”, Canadian High Commissioner Lilian Chatterjee said.

Head of the European Union Delegation to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Canto, said the elections should be regarded as a celebration of democracy.

“I think it is extremely important now that the winner, whoever it is can form a Government as soon as possible, and the loser, whoever that is, accepts the results and that the whole country unites to make sure that it can profit and benefit from the future it deserves,” he added.

Unlike most of the other Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries, Guyana does not use the first past the post system in electing its Government, relying instead on proportional representation.

The political parties were required to submit three separate lists to contest both the general and regional elections, with the elections to the National Assembly being drawn from two lists, namely the National Top-Up List and the 10 Geographic Constituency lists.

A total of 40 parliamentary seats can be drawn from the National Top Up list and following the elections, the total number of valid votes cast is divided into 40 and parties are allocated seats according to who has the greatest number of votes.

A total of 25 parliamentary seats can be drawn from the Geographic Constituency lists and the parties allocated seats according to who has the greatest number of votes.

GECOM said that nine political parties are contesting the general elections while 11 are participating in the regional poll.

Political observers say the contest is a straight fight between the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), headed by President David Granger, and the main Opposition People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), whose presidential candidate is the former Housing Minister Ifraan Ali.

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