410 more ballot boxes to be counted

…as Region 9 tabulation certified

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has so far completed recounting 1929 ballot boxes out of the total 2339, which leaves 410 boxes to be recounted. The number of boxes completed amounted to 80 per cent of the ballots cast at the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
However, while the political juggernauts eye forming a new Government, or be relegated to opposition benches, three newcomers that had formed an acceptable political alliance are within reach of securing a seat in the National Assembly whenever it is reconvened.
This can be gleaned from the tabulated results of recounted votes cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
The three that formed an electoral alliance in the run-up to the elections—The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) headed by Lennox Shuman, A New United Guyana (ANUG) with Timothy Jonas as its Chairman and The New Movement (TNM) with Presidential Candidate Dr Asha Kissoon—have so far secured in excess of 4200 of the votes that have been tabulated from the recount process.
The exact number of votes to equate to one parliamentary seat from the final results of the March 2020 Elections are still to be worked out since the Chief Elections Officer is still to prepare a final tabulation and report outlining the allocation of seats based on the total valid votes cast.
Traditionally, 5000 votes have been the ‘mean’ expectation by political parties, as being enough votes to secure a seat given the average size of the Official List of Electors in recent electoral cycles.
With 410 more ballot boxes to be recounted, it would mean that the Joinder Alliance has already secured more than 84 per cent of that 5000 mark.
More than half of the alliance’s votes have come from LJP headed by Shuman, so far ascertaining more than 2300 votes, while ANUG has secured in excess of 1600 to the collective tally, with TNM also bringing in almost 200 votes so far.
GECOM has so far completed recounting seven of the 10 electoral districts across the country. Those remaining include Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) which has the largest quota of ballot boxes to be recounted, Region 10 (Upper Demerara-Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
An assessment of the votes illustrates that while Shuman’s party has secured the bulk of the votes required thus far for the alliance, LJP has not contested Region 10.
With TNM so far picking up just over 70 votes in Region Four and less than 20 votes in Region 10, it would mean that ANUG and LJP would need to secure an average of about two votes from each of the remaining boxes to clinch, or three to all but guarantee a parliamentary tenure.
Shuman’s LJP has so far secured 470 votes in Region Four while tabulation figures give ANUG 903 votes from the boxes tabulated.
ANUG and TNM collectively failed to garner more than 200 votes so far from Region Six which is still to be completed while LJP did not contest the district.
This would see three parties requiring collectively, about two votes from each of the 410 ballot boxes still to be recounted, with Region Four recording the largest amount of the outstanding ballots still to be ascertained.
The parties have collectively picked up in excess of 1600 votes from the Region so far.
Meanwhile, GECOM on Monday completed recounting 93 boxes—completing 36 from Region Four, 34 for Region Six and 23 for Region 10.
GECOM also signed off on the Tabulation Certificate for the Region Nine (Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo) Electoral District, with the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) again refusing to affix a signature.
That Certificate records 4887 for the incumbent, APNU/AFC, while the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) secured 7070 votes from the Region.
Shuman’s LJP secured 277 votes from Region Nine while the United Republican Party picked up 27 votes.
The recount results for the region also documents 196 rejected ballots from the 12,457 persons that according to GECOM “appear to have voted.”
The Certificate records 12,261 valid votes cast for Region Nine while 28 were found to be spoilt.
The recount is scheduled to continue until no later than June 13, at which point in time the CEO is expected to provide the Commission with a report at which time a decision will be taken on the way forward with regards to using the results of the recount in providing a final declaration for the election by June 16—three days later.