Caribbean News, Latin America News:
NEWS AMERICAS, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. March 6, 2020: The OAS Electoral Observation Mission to the General and Regional Elections in Guyana last night condemned what it termed were “acts of violence witnessed on the evening of March 5 at the office of the Returning Officer (RO) for Region 4.”
The “violence” referred to was a reported fight that broke out between officials of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) and the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity APNU) moments after Returning Officer (RO) for Region Four Clairmont Mingo announced that he was about to declare the results for the votes counted in that Region.
“Such actions have no place in any electoral process,” the OAS Electoral Observation Mission said.
According to the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM) result for Region Four, the APNU+AFC won by 59,077 votes.
But the OAS Mission revealed that is was present during the several efforts to review and verify the Statements of Poll in Region 4 at the GECOM and noted that “although results were announced …. the process did not reach its proper conclusion as stipulated in the electoral code and that, subsequently, the results published by GECOM do not meet the established standards.”
The Carter Center also said it was deeply concerned about the events that took place at the Office of the Returning Officer for Region 4 and the questioned the decision to announce results that had not been verified.
“Up until today, the electoral process has been a remarkably transparent one with well-administered procedures on election day that provided an opportunity for the Guyanese people to express their will,” the Center said. “Today, however, the tabulation process that had been taking place in Region 4 was circumvented, critically undermining transparency and preventing international observers and political parties from observing tabulation. As a result, the election results released today for Region 4 are not credible.”
Former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur, who is heading the Commonwealth Observer team there, said that “it is the clear view of the Group that the tabulation of the final election results has not yet been completed and verified according to the established procedures and relevant legal and statutory provisions.”
“We strongly urge the Guyana Elections Commission and all parties involved to ensure the process properly follows the legal steps dictated by the laws of Guyana and is in line with the country’s international commitments,” he added.
Voters in the oil rich South American CARICOM nation of Guyana went to the polls on March 2nd but are still waiting an official result from elections.
Nine parties contested the regional and general elections’ but the race was definitely between the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), led by President David Granger and the PPP/C, led by Irfaan Ali and showed a return to a clear ethnic voting pattern.
The main opposition leaders denounced the announced results as “thievery,” while adding that the GECOM altered the results from Region Four, the most populous electoral district, to give the incumbent President, a wide margin over Ali.
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo said the commission’s results for Region Four did not match the sum of votes tallied in the statements of poll – the official documents that reflect voting results at each individual polling station.
The announcement also came as the country’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Karen Cummings, visited GECOM’s Command Centre and issued Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr. Karen Cummings visited GECOM and issued a threat to revoke the accreditation of members of the International Observer Missions.