(Homeland Security News Wire) Tensions are rising in newly oil-rich Guyana with nearly 100 percent of the votes now reported from Monday’s national election. The governing APNU party appears to have lost to the opposition Peoples Progressive Party (PPP). International elections observers – mostly Americans – are now being menaced and threatened by APNU to leave or face arrest. Guyana’s election is being watched closely because the winner will be in control of a coming oil boom which will transform Guyana. In December Exxon began commercial exploitation of a huge 2016 oil discovery off the coast, and production is expected to grow from 52,000 barrels per day to over 750,000 by 2025.
Results from the official certification of 80 percent of the Statements of Poll already tallied, and counts of the official Statements of Poll published, but not yet officially tallied from the balance, show a 5 percent victory by the PPP. That translates into 34 seats for the PPP, 30 seats for the APNU, and one seat for a minor party, in Guyana’s National Assembly. Under the country’s constitution, the largest party automatically elects the President, who will be the PPP’s designate, Dr. Irfaan Ali.
However, APNU refuses to concede and the APNU-controlled Elections Commission refuses to complete the official tally of the results from the remaining 20 percent of the country’s 2,300 polling sites – each of which counted and reported the actual votes four days ago.
Instead, the APNU government is engaging in increasingly desperate attempts to void the election, and change the already-reported results.
On Wednesday, the government-appointed Elections Director, Keith Lowenfield, attempted to discard the certified results from 500 polling sites and substitute instead a self-created “spreadsheet” adding tens of thousands of votes to APNU’s actual vote. Under heavy pressure from the international community, the Elections Commission ordered Lowenfield to withdraw that brazen attempt to steal the election.
Now the APNU government is threatening the international observers with arrest and violence.
A “bomb threat” was called-in today to Election headquarters and international observers were ordered to “clear the building.” Instead, many refused to leave – which would have left the remaining 400 packages of certified results and the actual ballots unattended in an open room.
Police have now entered the Elections offices and are threatening to arrest and deport the international observers.
APNU are also busing-in angry supporters from the slum areas of Georgetown, the nation’s capital – many of whom are intoxicated or armed – to mob the Elections Commission offices. Riot police are now deployed across the city.