By Economist – Bobby Gossai, Jr.
The National Recount exercise following the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections took thirty-three days and the preliminary tabulations from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) have shown that the People’s Progressive Party – Civic (PPP/C) has secured 33 parliamentary seats to win a full-majority government which will be led by Dr. Irfaan Ali, pending an official declaration by GECOM.
The incumbent government which is made up of the coalition APNU+AFC has secured 31 seats. The joinder’s list of three new parties [(A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM)] which contested these elections have secured 1 seat, which they will rotate on a prorated basis during the life of the next parliamentary sittings.
The chart below highlights the timeline and the daily number of ballot boxes which were counted from the period of May 06, 2020, to June 07, 2020. A total of 2,339 ballot boxes were recounted over the period which initially had a deadline of twenty-five (25) days and then an additional fourteen (14) days were given to complete the task. However, the recount task was able to be completed in only eight (8) additional days. The average number of boxes counted per day was approximately 71 (70.88).
The chart below features the total valid votes achieved by the parties from the preliminary tabulations and the expected allocations of parliamentary seats. The total valid votes of the 2020 general elections are 460,352, from the given data. This would indicate that a party must obtain 7,082 votes in order to gain a seat in the sixty-five (65) members of the National Assembly. Therefore, the PPP/C which secured 233,336 votes; will be allotted the parliamentary majority to form the new government of Guyana with 33 seats. The opposition will be comprised of the APNU+AFC with 31 seats and the new parties (ANUG+LJP+TNM) who gained a combined total of 5,214 votes.
Further, the chart below depicts the total votes which were obtained by the nine (9) parties which contested the general elections in the ten (10) electoral districts across Guyana. The PPP/C has won the most votes with an inviolable lead of 15,416 votes, as shown from the preliminary tabulations. This is followed by the votes obtained by the incumbent government. The LJP gained the third highest numbers of votes, followed by the ANUG.
Moreover, the chart below highlights the proportion of votes obtained by all of the parties that contested the 2020 General Elections in Guyana, in all of the ten (10) voting districts. Hence, it can be seen that the PPP/C secured more than 50% of the votes in Districts 1, 2,3, 5,6 and 9, with the party also gaining more than 60% of the votes in four (4) of those electoral regions. The PPP/C secured its highest proportion of votes in Districts 2 and 6, followed by the share of votes in Districts 1 and 3.
The APNU+AFC gained their highest regional proportion of votes in Districts 4 and 10. The LJP was able to secure meaningful votes in Districts 7, 8 and 9, which significantly helped in ensuring a parliamentary seat for the joining-parties.
Therefore, the numbers are clear. Guyana will be moving into a new era with a PPP/C government to overcome the many challenges that an emerging economy faces; in order to ensure that the well-being of its citizens and the prosperity of the nation, as a whole, is improved. Over the next governance period, our electoral system must be improved to allow for members of parliament to be directly accountable to their constituents and diligently work with a sense of unified national purpose. This will require a change of political culture and constitutional reforms; a mandate of the PPP/C’s manifesto.