… APNU/AFC refuses to sign off
…956 ballot boxes more to go
…no word on deadline extension
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Wednesday completed tabulating the votes for all the ballot boxes for electoral district Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), but the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) has refused to sign off on the results certificate.
Venued at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), the National Recount exercise being undertaken by GECOM has since generated a Tabulation Certificate for that electoral district, documenting 14,502 votes for the incumbent while registering a commanding lead of 18,326 votes for the main political Opposition.
This, contrasted with the declared results for the region following the March 2, polls, indicate that the recount increased the votes for the incumbent, which had 14,475 votes initially, and for the opposition Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), which had 18,263 votes.
There were 374 rejected ballots, while 61 were found to be spoilt votes of the 33,004 valid votes cast.
The incumbent coalition agent has since refused to sign the certificate, leaving signatures for representatives of the PPP/C, Change Guyana (CG) which picked up 127 votes in the region, the Peoples Republican Party (PRP) and the United Republican Party (URP).
At the end of the day, the Commission completed recounting an additional 93 ballot boxes across the regions, which would leave in excess of 956 ballot boxes still to be recounted in the three days remaining of gazetted allotted time.
Guyana Times was told that while there was a commission meeting to discuss an extension of the allotted time for the recount, a decision was not taken.
The Commission is expected to resume that meeting today, when GECOM continues recounting votes cast on March 2. There is a proposal for the extension date to be June 16. However, the commission is yet make any formal decision.
At the end of Wednesday, Day 22, GECOM had completed recounting the votes cast in Regions One, Two and Five, confirming PPP/C wins for each of the Regions, while the tabulation agent for APNU/AFC has signed off only for Region One.
Confirmed results for the Barima/Waini electoral district produced a result of 8,002 votes for PPP/C and 3909 for APNU/AFC. Declared Pomeroon/Supenaam results have verified 18,752 votes for the PPP/C in that Region while APNU/AFC got 7,293 votes.
Ascertained results for Region Three — scheduled for completion today — on Wednesday, documented a gargantuan lead for the PPP/C with 44,691 votes while APNU/AFC trails with 22,115 votes.
The third highest votes for the region were secured by CG, picking up 359 ballots in that district.
Votes tabulated for Regions Six, Seven, Eight and Nine each confirmed commanding leads for the PPP/C in those districts.
The incumbent has to date however, confirmed 45,645 votes in its traditional stronghold, Region Four (Demerara/Mahaica) while the PPP/C has so far had 25,671 of its votes from the district ascertained in the recount exercise.
The recount process is yet to begin addressing the Ballot Boxes for Region Ten.
Addressing the figures coming out of the recount exercise, PPP Tabulation Agent Nandlall had on Tuesday again lamented the repeated objections being made by the agents for the coalition, concluding, “There is no science, there is no logical theory which informs these objections, there is no reason behind the strategy; its scatter bullets shooting, and whichever target they hit they hit.”
The PPP/C agent reasoned that the rationale behind the ploy is to, at the end of the process, accumulate a basket of anomalies and irregularities which, if investigated, would whittle.
Nandlall suggested this to be the course of action, since “they are being beaten…”
He conceded, “Of course they will win Region Four in the end, and we all know that and we said that from the beginning, and they will possibly win Region 10; in all the other regions, that is what they want to distract from.”
He suggested this to be the motive behind the APNU+AFC agents “raising all these spurious, frivolous and vexatious objections to the proceedings.”