Monday, December 5, 2022

Coalition takes lead in Guyana elections amid controversy over credibility of results

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A controversial declaration of the District 4 results in Guyana’s elections show that the incumbent APNU+AFC coalition is on course to win by approximately 8,000 votes, amounting to about 1 seat. District 4, the most populous Region in Guyana, was the last to be tallied but the verification process of the Statements Of Poll (SOP) which reflects the votes at each Polling Station, was not completed.

These results show the incumbent APNU+AFC Coalition getting 136,458 of the valid votes cast in general elections compared to 77,329 votes secured by the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), representing a difference of 59,129 votes. However, the PPP/C has said that based on its own tabulation of the votes reflected on the SOPs, they would be on course to win the elections by around 18,000 votes, amounting to a 2-seat majority.

The US, UK, Canada, EU and observer missions all say the District 4 results lack credibility. The Carter Centre, which has been observing elections in Guyana since 1992, said it is deeply concerned about the events that took place Thursday at the Office of the Returning Officer for Region 4 and 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. 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,” the Carter Centre said.

The PPP/C has filed injunctions aimed at ultimately blocking the official declaration of results by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), which ultimately leads to the swearing in of the president.

The stakes are high in this critical election which come in wake of Guyana becoming an oil producer last December. More than 8 billion barrels of oil have been found off the country’s coast since 2015 and it has been estimated that by 2030, the government would be receiving around US$10B in revenue.

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