GECOM begins recounting some ballots to address PPPC concerns

GECOM begins recounting some ballots to address PPPC concerns

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 16:28 – Written by 

Left to Right: Charge D'Affaires of the US Embassy, Bryan Hunt; Canada's High Commissioner to Guyana, Nicole Giles and Britain's High Commissioner Gregory Quinn talking with reporters shortly after meeting executive members of the PPP at Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown.

Photo: Left to Right: Charge D’Affaires of the US Embassy, Bryan Hunt; Canada’s High Commissioner to Guyana, Nicole Giles and Britain’s High Commissioner Gregory Quinn talking with reporters shortly after meeting executive members of the PPP at Freedom House, Robb Street, Georgetown.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Wednesday  afternoon began recounting votes in three districts, following bitter complaint by the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) about alleged skullduggery.

GECOM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield says GECOM is going ahead with the partial recounts of ballots in regions/districts 1, 2 and 8.  

The CEO confirmed this to Demerara Waves just minutes ago, explaining that the Returning Officers of the respective regions have agreed to the recount. The recount is being done in accordance with Section 89 (1) of the Representation of the People Act, as opposed to Section 93.

The relevant section reads: “A duly appointed candidate, or counting agent present when the counting or any recount of votes is completed, may request the returning officer to have the votes recounted or again recounted; but the returning officer may refuse such request if in his opinion it is unreasonable.”

During a news conference earlier today Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Steve Surujbally, said whether the recounts would be done was not final, and depended on a settling of whether or not the requests were properly made.

The PPP has signaled its intention to ask for recounts in all 10 electoral districts, a move that could potentially delay the announcement of official results and the declaration of a winner.

The PPP Civic says its concerns are so grave that the elections were not “free from fear”, although the International community and observers have labeled the May 11, 2015 polls free, fair and credible.

Education Minister Priya Manikchand in disputing claims that the elections were “free and fair,” sought to justify her party’s claims of “electoral malpractices” at polling stations.

While the party did not provide specifics on the locations where they are demanding the recount, media operatives were told, on Wednesday May 13, that scare tactics were the biggest hindrance to ensuring that the process was legitimate. Culture Minister, Frank Anthony said at the Freedom House press conference that the recount call came when, “it was realized that some of our accounting agents were forced to flee some of the polling places out of fear… As the counting phase began some of our agents were intimidated and flee for their own safety. We have noticed an extremely high number of rejected ballots which we believe would have resulted following the absence of our counting agents in some of these areas.”

The party member continued that in some cases, there was a high voter turnout, “more than the average national turnout, which raises suspicion of possible electoral transgression.”

Manickchand told media operatives that where she was posted-Region Five- she saw a number of irregularities and also received such reports. She waved a photo of a man allegedly born 1958, but looked to be in his thirties being allowed to vote. She noted that a voter with an identification card was told that someone had already voted with the said name, while two other cases entailed persons without identification cards being allowed to vote despite them looking nothing like their folio photo and despite the objection of the PPP agent there.

To further justify their claims of fear tactics, the party members alluded to the destruction of property in various areas and assault committed against party members and their assistants. One of the PPP members, who lost property during the Sophia unrest that occurred on the evening of May 11, was also invited to give her side of the story.

Manickchand took umbrage also at statements about the party and said their were reported to co GECOM. She said that she was one of the persons emailing the GECOM representative for her region, stating the irregularities that she had seen and received at the time. These email were acknowledged, she clarified.

In the meantime, Attorney General (AG) Anil Nandlall has stated that the party “is not preparing anything to go to Court.” The party’s General Secretary had hinted even before polling day that should the party feel cheated they had the right to take the matter to court to withhold the declaration of the winner.

To this, the former AG noted, “we have not reached that stage; we have not looked at that as an option because it is unnecessary at this stage.” He said however, that “a billion” things can occur that could eventually force the party to take that legal route; but refused to highlight any.

However, “one of the consequences of a recount would be to prevent a final declaration”, but this is based on the interpretation of the law, said Nandlall, a PPP Committee member suggested. On the issue of instability within the country if the declaration of a winner is delayed, Manickchand opined that she believes Guyana is a mature country that should be able to have an election today and move on the next day.

Nandlall noted however that the party is exercising its legal right which is all part of the election process. He noted that while the voting aspect is completed and the counts ongoing, asking for a recount is only, “another component of the process.”

———————-

APNU+AFC says PPP/C call for recount contrary to law

Stabroek News 13 May 2014

The opposition alliance, APNU+AFC today said that the PPP/C’s call for a recount was contrary to the law and it called for the elections commission not to allow this attempt to delay the declaration of the results of the poll.

The APNU+AFC statement follows:

It has been brought to the attention of A Partnership for National Unity and The Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition that the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) has called for a recount of the ballots cast in the 2015 General and Regional Elections in several Electoral Districts.

APNU+AFC affirms that this is contrary to section 83-89 of the Representation of the People Act of the Laws of Guyana.

APNU+AFC therefore regards the PPP/C’s call as a deliberate attempt to delay the declaration of the May 11th 2015 Polls and to frustrate the will of the people.

APNU+AFC calls on the Guyana Elections Commission to resist that attempt by the PPP/C to further delay the declaration of the results of the poll and to make their declaration as required by the constitution of Guyana.

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Comments

  • Ian Welch  On May 13, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Wasn’t this the same ploy they used in 2011 after “losing” some ballot boxes?

  • ndtewarie  On May 13, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    THE PPP WITH ITS MINISTERS WHO HAVE SHOWN PUERILE BEHAVIOUR BEFORE IS ONCE AGAIN FORESTALLING THE INEVITABLE. BE LIKE A MAN!
    TAKE YOUR LOSSES RUN AND HIDE. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!

  • Hyacinth  On May 13, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    It’s just the PPP stalling so they can get more time to destroy incriminating evidence of the atrocities they carried out during their 23 year rein of greed, corruption and mishandling of public finances….and oh yes….DICTATORSHIP. I really hope this is good riddance to Jagdeo and his bunch of bandits.

  • Gigi  On May 13, 2015 at 7:32 pm

    Who would have though that elections in Guyana would mirror what took place in Florida and the US in 2000. What a mess that was! One wonders what would the US be like today if only Al Gore, the true winner, had not been cheated. There was also skullduggery in play during the recent election in Chicago that saw Rahm Emmanuel being re-elected. An in the UK, there was also skullduggery in play by both the US and UK that prevented Scotland’s independence. Now renewed calls are being made for another go at Scottish independence following their major victory in the recent UK elections. Whenever the UK and US are ominously involved in other countries sovereignty and electoral process – think Ukraine, Egypt, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and much of the ME, the entire continents of African and South America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and most Caribbean countries – expect major skullduggery.

    As for the Sophia incident, is it too much to ask for the US and UK to put these folks on a boat and send them back to their motherland. Baltimore will do,too. The residents there will deal with them in the right manner. There is no love lost between kit and kin hooliganism in those neighborhoods. And if you’re of a different race, you won’t be spared either. You’ll get what this 61 year old white guy got:

    A 17 old boy has been charged as an adult for his role in beating a 61-year-old man was left with horrific injuries and facing $400,000 medical bills after a near fatal attack by a pack of FIFTY teens, including girls, when he tried to break up a fight on April 22. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-12/face-baltimore-you-wont-see-news

    But what can you expect when people with similar mindsets also attack a weak and defenseless donkey because its owner spray painted his party symbol on the innocent animal. Some people are just downright cruel and vicious. I hope the govt designates land to serve as shelter areas. Particularly near schools so that students can become involved in caring of them so that they can learn to love and have compassion for animals.

    My daughter came home the other day with a black cat from the animal shelter. The cat is pure black and a stray. We have three cats and I was not particularly trilled with having another. Her justifications for adopting the cat were: people do not like black cats because they think they are evil so she will not get adopted, and people only like to adopt kittens so no one would want her because is not a kitten. This poor cat probably would have had to spend her numbered days in the shelter. (The shelter usually put animals down when they run out of space and those who’ve been in the shelter the longest are the ones who are put down first.)

    A week after we got the cat, she received an email from the shelter asking her to share with others how the cat was doing. She shared with me what she wrote and I said to her she was making her sound like a dog. She said that was exactly her intentions because more people like dogs than cats and she wanted them to see that cats are similar to dogs so that they would become open to liking cats as much as dogs. My daughter is in her second semester at college studying international marketing and cultural anthropology. Not sure if I should view her tactics as deceptive when she is clearly trying to use them for a noble cause.

    • Cathy  On May 13, 2015 at 9:52 pm

      You need to get back on your meds Gigi and quickly.

  • detow  On May 13, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    The PPP/C is obviously now running on empty and can find no way out of their dilemma other than attempting to postpone the inevitable. I firmly believe that the ploy of demanding a recount is designed to allow certain members of that party enough time to flee the jurisdiction to parts where they feel that they would be untouchable. But, like old timers used to say, moon a run till daylight catch am. It will be interesting to see what next they come up with once the recount results in nothing different than has been reported to date.

    GUYANA WAS GOOD, GUYANA IS ROTTEN, GUYANA CAN BE GOOD AGAIN.

  • Bob  On May 13, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    First order of business for the APNU-AFC, should be to recover all the monies and assets stolen by the Jagdeo posse. There will be enough there to run the country for years to come.

    Get them before they leave the country, for some obscure safe haven.

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