…PPP leads APNU/AFC by 16,341 votes
The Guyana Elections Commission on Friday completed tabulating votes cast for 2153 of the 2339 ballot boxes used during the March 2 polls. However, the results show that with 167 boxes remaining to be recounted, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has an unassailable lead of more than 16,300 votes.
Tabulated results thus far show that the PPP/C has so far had 210,280 of its votes recounted while the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) has had 193,939 of its votes tabulated. This would see the Opposition PPP/C holding a 16,341 vote lead with the remaining ballot boxes to be counted all located primarily along the East Coast of Demerara, in traditional PPP/C strongholds.
The tabulation exercise on Friday also continued to unearth the inflated figures used by the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
An analysis of boxes recounted at Beterverwagting (BV), ECD, illustrates where hundreds of votes were added to the APNU/AFC’s tally and for which ballots could not be found during the recount.
One such instance could be gleaned from a re-examination of ballot box 4655 containing votes cast at the BV Health Centre.
The Statement of Poll generated on elections night, recorded for that ballot box that the PPP/C had gotten 54 votes while the APNU/AFC had gotten 126 votes.
This was confirmed when recounted and reflected in the Statement of Recount (SoR) accounting for that box.
However, Mingo’s declared figures for that box gives APNU/AFC 176 votes or 50 votes more than what was actually cast for the party and corroborated using both the SoPs and SoRs.
Another such instance was replicated in ballot box 4651 which according to Mingo’s figures saw the APNU/AFC getting 210 votes.
A recount of the ballots found in the box that was sealed on elections night by each party has since found only 160 votes for the party, the same number of votes that were tabulated for that party on elections night and reflected on the SoP.
That ballot box represented votes cast in the BV Secondary School.
The same could be found in several other ballot boxes examined from BV which documents the figures inflated by Mingo by varying numerical values.
Breakdown of findings
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo Jagdeo explained that the Statements of Recount (SORs) generated from the recount of those nine districts almost mirror the Statements of Poll (SOPs) that his party had published online from the initial count of the March 2 votes.
He noted that minor variances detected during the recount were largely from the review of the votes that were rejected during the initial count.
During a breakdown of the findings from the recount exercise, he revealed that APNU/AFC gained four votes in Region One (Barima-Waini) while PPP/C lost 20; both parties lost three votes each in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam); Coalition losing three more while PPP lost four in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara); and in Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), APNU/AFC gaining five and PPP nine votes.
Because of some errors in recording the figures from the tally sheet onto the SOP, the Coalition gained 61 votes and PPP 165 in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).
In Region Seven, APNU/AFC lost four votes while and PPP gained 8 votes; Region Eight saw both the Coalition and PPP gaining 66 and 11 votes respectively; while in Region Nine, APNU/AFC lost two votes and PPP/C gained two; and in Region 10, the Coalition lost 16 while PPP lost two votes.
With regards to the Region Four count, which is ongoing, for the East Bank district it was found that APNU/AFC lost 10 votes and PPP/C gained 36.
Meanwhile, figures coming out of the recount exercise is also projecting the Liberty and Justice Party may occupy a place in the National Assembly.
Presidential Candidate, Lenox Shuman on Friday maintained, “based on the numbers that we have had previously and what are being confirmed in here, it points to one of two scenarios for us. It is either the Liberty and Justice Party won a seat outright or the joiner won that one seat.”
The party has so far had 2572 votes tabulated in its favour.
According to Shuman, while he cannot at this point speak with finality, the Region Four count will provide a more pellucid view of the issue.
He noted that the LJP’s partner in the Joiner Alliance—A New and United Guyana—likely won more votes in Region Four than his party.
He told media operatives “I think ANUG in itself got a lot more votes in Region Four than LJP so we still have to see how those numbers fall and do keep in mind that in the end, it goes to the highest of the remainder.”
ANUG has so far seen 2064 votes tabulated in its favour while The New Movement has had 229 votes ascertained for that party.
This would bring the total votes tabulated for the Joinder Parties thus far to 4865 votes collectively.
Reminding media operatives of the agreement between the parties in the alliance, Shuman said, “in terms of the arrangement, any seat that is won outright by any political party goes to that party. If it is won as a consequence of all of the parties coming together, what we do is share time in Parliament based on the percentage of votes that we would have attained.”
As such, he continued, “If the Liberty and Justice Party can account for 20 per cent of that seat, then we spend 20 per cent of the time in Parliament and the rest is allocated different percentages.”
This has never been done before in Guyana, and while the laws make provision for such an alliance, it does not dictate how the division of the seat among the signatories to that alliance occurs.
As a result, Shuman said that the Election Commission will have to provide guidance on this.