Granger’s slow, ineffective decision-making cost APNU+AFC elections- Caribbean pollster

Peter Wickham

Wickham, who heads the Caribbean Development Research Services (CADRES), believed that the coalition should have called the election shortly after the December, 2018 no-confidence motion instead of worrying unnecessarily about a bloated voters’ list. He recalled that soon after the passage of that motion, a poll shown that the Granger-led administration had enjoyed a 2 percent advantage and should have called the election immediately.       

“You had a year of dithering where you are arguing over your right to do house-to-house registration, your right to this, your right to that, you are challenging the outcome of the vote of no-confidence,” he said.

Wickham said APNU+AFC should have used its advantage and called the election at a time when the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) had not even named a presidential candidate. “We had months and months of dithering and I have said again that I feel one of the challenges that Guyanese have with this current president is the fact that he does not seem to make decisions quickly and effectively and that’s half of the reason why in the year that we saw the advantage that they had, small as it is, has disappeared so I honestly believe that based on my poll data, the outcome that is being projected based on the results is consistent with what have happened in the space of time which is a year , suggesting that Guyanese saw things in President Granger that they were uncomfortable with,” he said.

Wickham noted that in several other Caribbean countries the voters lists are quite large when compared to the actual sizes of populations. He said that with several built-in safeguards such as indelible ink on voters’ index fingers and the deployment of political party representatives at polling stations  in Guyana’s electoral system, it was almost impossible for people to cheat. “There is no necessary relationship between a bloated list and for you to assume that all the people who were dead voted. You have scrutineers in every electoral office. Those scrutineers should have a familiarity with the neighbourhood and the district,” he said. Citing the fact that APNU+AFC personnel had turned up suddenly with death certificates after the elections, he questioned how was it that they did not use that information to query people’s legitimacy.

Wickham cited an example in Barbados where the number of listed voters is almost the same as the population. Figures show that Barbados’ registered voters in the 2018 elections totalled 255,833 but only 153,745 valid votes were cast. The official population is estimated at 280,000.

In Guyana, 460,352 valid votes were cast in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections out of 661,378 registered votes and a total estimated population of 750,000 persons. At the 2015 polls, 411,970 valid votes were cast from a register of 583,444 persons and a total population of 750,000 persons. He noted that Guyana has a very “itinerant” population and there was no way of removing people who have died overseas.

Wickham recommended that Caribbean countries implement a list management facility that allows for people to be removed from the list if they are overseas for an extended period, citing the United Kingdom where people are required by law and punishable by a fine if they do not officially notify authorities that they are alive.

Wickham said if anyone had to be blamed for irregularities, it would have to be GECOM rather than the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) which does not have its hands on the levers of the election machinery. “I don’t know how in this conversation we can assume that it is the responsibility of the PPP-Civic that there was rigging. If there was rigging, it was GECOM’s fault and GECOM ought to be investigated,” he said.

The recounted and tabulated results show that the PPPC won 230,328 votes, and APNU+AFC 217,259 votes , and three small political parties- A New and United Guyana, Liberty and Justice Party and The New Movement – that contested the polls separately won a total of 5,190 votes which entitle them to one seat in the 65-seat National Assembly.

GECOM is yet to officially declare the results, but the Organisation of American States (OAS), which includes the 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) member-states, has already said the recount results could be used to declare a credible result and install a government on the basis of the will of the people.  Government has said the CARICOM election scrutineers  report would be among those to be considered by GECOM before it declares the results.

But APNU+AFC has said more than 89,000 votes have been infected by PPPC’s alleged rigging and that the Commission should declare a result based on valid votes cast.  The recount shows that 4,211 of the 464,563‬ votes cast have been rejected.

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Comments

  • kamtanblog  On June 10, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Post-mortem now “autopsies” !
    What next ?

    Granger is a “sick hombre” !
    Past sell by date !

    Let’s get on with the “anti corruption”
    laws and enforce them !
    Jail a few for starters !

    Guyana is pandemiicly corrupt !

    Failed state ?

    Kamtan

  • Linda  On June 10, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Yep, Granger definitely dropped the ball.

    • kamtanblog  On June 10, 2020 at 10:00 am

      Don’t blame him for “giving up” !
      It will take strong leadership if Guyana is to
      move forward. Maybe even dictatorship or
      Re–colonisation by USA-UK.
      Granger was cornered/handcuffed by
      the “militants” in his own party…Burnhamites !

      Think there will be “unrest” politically with the
      Military poo poo support.
      Hope no more bloodshed !

  • Bernard  On June 11, 2020 at 12:55 am

    Why is Jagdeo still running his big mouth ?

    • kamtanblog  On June 11, 2020 at 3:13 am

      Jagdeo is a Russian trained economist !
      Appointed by Janet Jagan a known commie
      American citizen.
      The oligarchs now rule both Russia and USA.
      Will new incumbent president align with Rasputin Russia or liar in thief USA ?
      Maduros venezuela mistake ?

      Not long to go before we know !

      Kamtan

  • Tata  On June 11, 2020 at 10:04 pm

    It’s easy to point blame at the feet of President Granger but Guyana is A complicated “nation” with LOTS of DEEP SEATED racial problems that unfortunately cannot be measured with the likes of Barbados and other Caribbean Islands. Guyana’s problems has gotten even worse with its OIL wealth and the BRAZEN GREED for POWER by Jagdeo and his posse of American LOBBYIST and political THUGS. But this would only get worst because the WORLD is different today and Black people will not stand by and be RECOLONIZE in the year 2020. The PPP’s racist bias is WORST than the what we see in America today and a NEW and FRESH answer to this HATE “must”;STOP NOW.

    Jagdeo, has disrespected every rule of the law, Even running for a THIRD Presidential term of office; appointing a SCAPEGOAT as President.; a man with no credibility, FAKE credentials, 11 convictions, just to name a few but ALL this is being OVERLOOKED by A GROUP of PEOPLE who has a axe to grind with APNU, led by Granger or is it something else?

    In truth, Most of Granger‘s supporters believe he should have flexed his muscles a lot sooner but he thought he was dealing with a STATESMAN not a THUG. He thought “waiting for God to help resolve Guyana’s problem” would help but politics and GOD don’t go together. Sadly, it’s much bigger. and being a STATESMAN And acting all Presidential because the sad fact is, the People’s Progressive Partly (PPP) whose voters are mainly of East Indian ancestry, only vote along that ethnic background. On the other hand, the APNU supporters who’s ethnically a combination of everything in a “pot of cook-up rice and very diverse, sometimes feel overwhelmed and overlooked in this HATE-FILLED space. In reality,, this mentality is NOT going to address the HUGE problems of RACE and PEACE.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 12, 2020 at 9:17 pm

    Will deal with only a couple a things in Tata’s false assertions.

    Re.THUG:
    Kaieteur News on Jun 7 has this article heading:

    “Granger being referred to in Caribbean as ‘Sanctimonious Gangster’

    Re. APNU is “pot of cook-up rice and very diverse”; whereas, the PPPc is only Indians.
    What we see is the exact opposite in this video. None of the 4 PPPc participants is an Indian in this Jun 11 video.

    VNM

  • Guyfacts  On June 13, 2020 at 1:04 am

    RE: Guyana under JAGDEO’s FOURTH TERM as President

    He is now looking forward to his fourth term as President of Guyana
    He had two full terms and went to the CCJ to overturn the two term limit… LOST.
    He then put Puppet Ramotar in power…who won in 2011 as a minority government… who … facing a no-confidence motion after 3 years, prorogued parliament for six months before going to the polls … where he lost in 2015 to the APNU-AFC Coalition.

    Now in 2020 Jagdeo has handpicked another puppet in Mohamed Infaan Ali… Ali hardly speaks and has a questionable history … Jagdeo overshadows him and makes sure everyone knows who the real President is. Many believe that his choice of Ali was to garner the Muslim vote for the PPP.

    During his terms in office, Jagdeo basically ran a “Criminal State” … Drugs, Money Laundering., Extra-Judicial killings, killing of opposition journalists, support of Roger Khan and his Phantom Gangs that eliminated hundreds of persons… including even his Minister Shaw and family members. Anyone living in Guyana during his reign would remember the fear that pervaded the land if you opposed him.
    Many paid with their lives or with years in jail like Mark Benshop (5 yrs)… More on this later.

    It can be proved that he also ran a racist government where Indo-Guyanese, who make up 40% of the population, were awarded most of the benefits of the country, while most Afro-Guyanese, about 30 % of the population, and others struggled. The disrespect and marginalization of Afro-Guyanese is well documented. There are lists of persons, in various news articles, that suffered the loss of jobs and marginalization under the PPP. Most of these persons were Afro- Guyanese. Most scholarships went to Indo Guyanese and these records were kept secret.

    Jagdeo refused to help the capital city. The beautiful City of Georgetown became a Garbage City…. drainage was neglected and flooding was endemic. Wasteful spending on projects like the hydro project and the fire-optic cable to Brazil plus all the stolen government funds meant important projects for the people were neglected.
    Corruption, overt and covert, was a great industry under Jagdeo. There are detailed reports in Kaieteur News under “Heist of Guyana”, and these detail just the tip of the iceberg.

    Roger Luncheon, one of his Ministers, said they could not find even one qualified Afro Guyanese to represent Guyana overseas. Most foreigners thought only Indo-Guyanese lived in Guyana… That was the image the PPP wanted… Guyana has many mixed persons who are about 25% + 12 % Amerindian, and many so-called Indian and Afro Guyanese are partly mixed anyway as they represent the Guyana of six peoples… One Nation… One People,… One Destiny. ONE PEOPLE should not mean just Indo- Guyanese.

    The win by APNU-AFC in 2015, has been a breath of fresh air for Guyana. The City of Georgetown has been cleaned up and drainage improved. The big businesses have also agreed to pay some of the billions they owe the city in rates and taxes so that it remains a “Garden City”.
    The drug empires have now been less powerful as the DEA is now in Guyana after years of being blocked by Jagdeo.
    There is less fear in speaking out as there is no Phantom Squad to take you out.
    People also seemed much happier… although many did not like a Black President…. (Like Obama)
    Jagdeo said publicly…”We want our country back”… He gave all the radio and TV stations to friends and worked relentlessly to get back into power. OUR COUNTRY meant INDO-GUYANA.

    Now he has done so, based on preliminary results, we shall see if he can govern Guyana in this his FOURTH TERM as PRESIDENT.

    TATA in the above entry has made very valid points…. TRUTH is not always pleasant to hear so he is attacked.
    VEDA keeps quoting the article in Kaieteur News where Granger was called a “THUG”e keeps repeating this in his entries. Maybe to him Afro-Guyanese are “Thugs”, and this reflects what many Indo-Guyanese think.
    Granger has his faults, but he is a gentleman. He has served Guyana in a difficult time. He may be on his way out… and we thank him and his team for bringing some sanity to Guyana.

    The real thug is Jagdeo … but VEDA will never see that…. most likely, blinded by race.

    Jagdeo will eventually pay for all his misdeeds and delegated thuggery aimed at achieving and maintaining his power since 1999. The hangers on, like Tony Vieira, hope to benefit from the oil money. One wonders now how much Guyana will now get from oil … with the oversupply of crude oil in a crashing world economy.

    These are difficult times worldwide especially with COVID-19 and the looming worldwide depression. … Guyanese have to work together to make the country a success… OTHERWISE it will become a failed state.

    We may live overseas but we all love Guyana… Our Native Land.

  • Veda Nath Mohabir  On June 13, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Suddenly Guyfacts turns up on this blog. Couple people who saw the post and contacted me said they think they know who it is. Why doesn’t Guyfacts come out like a man and use his name like I do?

    I don’t have time to waste with the usual misinformation of APNU supporters and Black activists here/Guyana who see everyone else as oppressor, extrapolating from the unique USA context. They ignore their own documented oppression & brutalization of Indians, which is 180 degrees away from the USA situation. So will deal with just a few issues.

    1) I know the Sawh (not Shaw) family. One brother who left early and avoided the massacre doesn’t subscribe to your crap of a phantom squad doing the killings. Even Minister’s Sawh‘s wife continued to be the Consul in TO under the Jagdeo Gov’t after the murder of her husband and family members. She would have quit if your tripe was true. Produce your proof! It is the same modus operandi of the group that slaughtered the eleven (11) poor sleeping Indians at Lusignan. They were out to unseat the Jagdeo gov’t. So, striking suddenly at Indians was their MO. Eusi Kwayana wrote a book – The Morning after – about a planned coup to unseat Jagdeo. It is the same people (based in Buxton). Read it and get informed.

    2) Re. “Jagdeo refused to help the capital city. The beautiful City of Georgetown became a Garbage City…. drainage was neglected and flooding was endemic.” It was NOT Jagdeo’s responsibility to run GT. Former PNC Prime Minister, Hamilton Green was the Mayor. IT WAS GREEN’s RESPONIBILITY TO RUN GT and keep it clean, drained, garbage-cleaned etc., from Taxes that he levied from Businesses, Home owners, etc. He was inefficient/ineffective; and out to cast blemish on the Jagdeo administration to fool people like you who are uninformed about cities and how they are funded and run. Then, the day after/as soon as the APNU+AFC got into power he did a cleanup of the city. That is on record.

    3) You talk about Kaieteur news exposing Jagdeo gov’t. Freddie Kissoon was even sued by Jagdeo for his constant attacks. Funny how things have changed. Since last year, but especially since the attempt by GECOM to rig the election in favour of Granger/APNU+AFC Kissoon is daily lambasting Granger, Harmon, GECOM, Mingo, Claudette Singh, Eusi Kwayana, David Hinds, Nagamootoo, Etc, etc. for their blatant falsifications, obfuscations, duplicity and attempt to hang on to power illegally (since the NCM, Dec 2018). Funny how Freddie Kissoon’s articles no longer appear on this blog. Just today two articles in KN & SN ““Guyana [APNU+AFC] can’t withstand the fire of the entire global community” – Owen Arthur” and KN: “Granger falsely claims that Coalition’s allegations caused recount. But they don’t appear on this blog because its choice of articles is biased in favout of APNU+AFC

    4) APNU+AFC didn’t fairly win, if they did at all, the 2015 Elections which got them into power. Think what I say is all hot air? Look back at the official GECOM spreadsheet used to proclaim them winner. You will see errors in Regions 3 and 6 and the PPPc column. While these differences may not be large to their supporters, what they point to are plugged in numbers, and are evidence of larger falsifications underlying the totals. Anyone auditor knows this. The Americans put pressure on PPPc to accept the results even though the PPPc had their own list of falsifications.

    5) Re. “ VEDA keeps quoting the article in Kaieteur News where Granger was called a “THUG”e keeps repeating this in his entries. Maybe to him Afro-Guyanese are “Thugs”, and this reflects what many Indo-Guyanese think.

    Veda NEVER said made that remark about Afro-Guyanese. He was showing that Granger was/is NO gentleman. That is why the Caribbean people see him as a poseur, as “sanctimonious”. What they would know too is that in 1973, as Commander of the Berbice regiment of the GDF, his ranks commandeered the ballot boxed, took them to GDF HQ and stuffed them with PNC ballots to ensure Burnham/PNC remain in power. In this criminal act by the army, two Indian men were killed as they attempted to safeguard the boxes.

    But, beyond that, Veda has revealed where Afro-Guyanese have been constant aggressors on Indians, going all the way back before Indians even set foot in BrGuiana. On this matter, for 2 ½ years Veda sat on explosive information revealed by Jamaican Prof Verne Shepherd that inter-racial problems in Guyana have their genesis on the indentured immigrant ships. Black sailors routinely sexually assaulted/raped the Indian women on the 3 ½ month journey of over 500 trips. In Prof Shepherd’s book – Maharani’s Misery – documenting one woman’s rape and ensuing death, and the mistreatment of Indentured men and sexploitation of the women she produced evidence that one Black sailor openly claimed he ‘must F— one of the Coolie’ women before reaching Demerara; and afterwards, displayed his badly bruised member to show that he did.’ He boasted that ‘Coolies to weak’ to retaliate for themselves or for their women.

    Veda kept all this low and would use euphemism such as ‘Indians didn’t cast the first stone’ even though he has it in his recent book, The Mauling of Indians. Veda could have opened up the issue just before or during the election. But he didn’t want racism to be a factor because he knew that APNU+AFC would lose the Elections, especially with their antics since the NCM. AfroGuyanese need to look at their history of brutalization (also as in Wismar, May 24-26, 1964 and the glorification in Independence Day, May 26) and oppression of Indo-Guyanese. This is 180 degrees away from what takes place in the USA.

    Veda

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