Opposition Leader urges restraint in face of attacks on GECOM Chair
…calls on electorate to await CEO’s report
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo is calling on the electorate to “exercise restraint as we await CEO [Chief Elections Officer Keith] Lowenfield’s expeditious submission, of a tabulation of the certified recount results from the ten electoral districts.”
This, together with a summary of the observation reports for each district, to be submitted to the full Guyana Elections Commission including Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
Jagdeo’s adumbrations came on Tuesday—100 days to the date since the March 2, General and Regional Elections and come in light of “very harsh comments by supporters of the APNU/AFC [A Partnership for National Unity, Alliance for Change] and PPP/C directed at the Chairperson of GECOM, Justice Claudette Singh”.
“I wish to urge our supporters and well-wishers to refrain from ad hominem attacks against Justice Singh,” according to the PPP/C General Secretary.
He noted in his exaltation on Tuesday that “the last few months have been a difficult period, where the Chair has had to contend with key elements within the Secretariat and the three APNU+AFC Commissioners, who are bent on undermining every effort aimed at producing a credible result which reflects the will of the electorate.”
He posited, “…the recount could not have been completed without her leadership and steadfastness.”
According to the PPP/C General Secretary, the fact that she was present at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) venue throughout the entire process, “is testimony to her commitment to ensuring its completion in keeping with the undertaking that she had given to the court.”
Speaking in support of the GECOM Chair, Jagdeo remarked that “when President [David] Granger and I appointed Justice Singh, we did so with knowledge of her personal and professional integrity.”
According to the former Executive President and Opposition Leader, the results of the recount show that the PPP won the March 2 elections and that “we are now awaiting the official declaration.”
The recount of the votes cast on March 2 concluded on Sunday with GECOM ascertaining the contents of each of the 2339 ballot boxes used from across the country.
Region Four’s (Demerara-Mahaica) recount tabulation, the most contentious of the 10 electoral districts, was certified on Tuesday, bringing a close to the physical recount aspect of the process.
The publicly tabulated figures show the PPP/C taking 33 of the 65 seats in the legislative assembly while APNU/AFC will take 31 seats.
The remaining one seat is expected to be held by the Joinder Alliance comprising the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM).
The full Commission is expected to receive Lowenfield’s report on or before June 13. The Commission has in its Gazetted Order, on or before June 16, to make a final declaration of the March 2 polls, more than three months later—the single longest such hiatus in the nation’s democratic history.