Transition of Govt to PPP/C should begin – OAS tells APNU/AFC
The Organisation of American States (OAS) has called on the A Partnership for National Unity/ Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) to begin the process of transition, which will allow the legitimately-elected Government to take its place.
This call came hours after the Caribbean Community (Caricom) high-level observation team said in its report on the elections recount that the process was conducted in “a professional, transparent and impartial fashion”, which allowed GECOM, political parties and other stakeholders to accurately determine the results for each polling station. As such, the OAS reiterated that there is no reason not to support the results of the recount process.
“OAS further takes note and wholly supports the findings of the Caricom team of scrutineers that the results of the recount were transparent and credible, and nothing prevents the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission from now declaring the election, based on these results,” the OAS said in its statement on Monday.
It added that elections are held to determine the will of the people and once the people’s wishes are clearly stated, they must be upheld – not only in instances where they favour the incumbent.
“In this case, the results published in the report of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) himself make it clear that the Opposition PPP/C [People’s Progressive Party/Civic} has won the favour of the majority of Guyana’s eligible voters. Their will must be respected,” the OAS stated.
The OAS pointed out that the Order of the Recount as was gazetted required that “ascertained and verified” matrices of the results for each of the 10 electoral districts be submitted to the CEO, who would then tabulate these results and submit them to GECOM, along with a summary of the observation reports prepared for each district.
On Saturday, CEO Keith Lowenfield submitted to GECOM’s Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh his report on the recently-concluded national elections recount of the ballots cast at the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
The figures presented by Lowenfield that were garnered in the recount process show the PPP/C won the March 2 General Election with 233,336 votes cast in its favour. The APNU/AFC secured 217,920 votes.
For the new parties, the numbers are as follows: A New and United Guyana – 2313; Change Guyana –1953; Liberty and Justice Party – 2657; People’s Republic Party – 889; The Citizen’s Initiative – 680; The New Movement – 244; and the United Republican Party – 360.
In the Regional Elections, the PPP/C also won with 233,661 votes, while APNU/AFC secured 217,055 votes. Change Guyana – 2607; Fed-Up Party – 153, Liberty and Justice Party – 2935; Organisation for the Victory of the People – 448; People’s Republic Party – 927; and the United Republican Party – 1369.
According to the numbers, the PPP/C is to ascend to the seat of power, while the APNU/AFC is now Guyana’s main Opposition.
However, in his report, the CEO went outside of his ambit and sided with the APNU/AFC when he said the March 2 General and Regional Elections lacked credibility and fairness owing to the unsubstantiated allegations of dead and migrated persons voting.
However, neither Lowenfield nor the APNU/AFC produced a shred of definitive evidence to support those allegations.
OAS on Monday said that this report submitted by Lowenfield records multiple “allegations” of irregularities by a contesting party in each district, which are then used as a basis for determining that the electoral process in each of the 10 districts was not credible. “There is little evidence in the CEO’s report of efforts to investigate or otherwise address any of the alleged irregularities presented. His contention that the entire election be set aside on this basis alone is astonishing,” the Organisation stated.
The OAS reminded that in its statement of April 15, 2020, prior to the commencement of the recount, it had recommended the exclusion of any official who had displayed partisan behaviour during the electoral process. “While the CEO’s approach to his report is, therefore, disappointing, it is not unexpected,” the OAS stated.
The seven-member Commission met on Monday and will continue its consideration of the CEO’s report today.