Political stakeholders maintain Lowenfield’s ‘summary of observations’ cannot impact final declaration

GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh

A summary of the controversial Observation Reports which is expected to form part of the Chief Elections Officer’s Official Report for submission to the Elections Commission, should not have any significant impact on the official declaration of the results of the national recount.

This is the view expressed by several political stakeholders who have argued that the national recount is “a recount of the count” of votes cast on March 2; and since most of the coalition’s claims documented during the recount exercise were based on unsubstantiated allegations, they cannot and should not affect the final result in any way.

“I don’t see how the Observation Reports would impact anything at this point,” Leader of the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman told reporters outside the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC) this afternoon, following the tabulation of the District Four results.

“We as stakeholders at the political level, we have asked them (A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change) for proof to support their allegations, and there has been no proof whatsoever,” Shuman noted.

The New Movement (TNM) representative, Dr Daniel Khanai, added his voice, saying that the national recount has confirmed what the nation new along, that is; the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) has won the March 2, polls and the Commission should proceed in declaring the legitimate winner accordingly.

PPP/C Executive Member, Anil Nandlall, had also argued that it is the recount numbers that matters most and not the “observations”, since GECOM would have to declare a winner based on the recount figures.

“A recount is a numbers game, it’s a recount of what was done on elections night, hence the term recount…”

Nandlall argued that the law does not allow for GECOM to engage in any action that would see it conducting a probe in relation to its own conduct.

“So GECOM has no jurisdiction, no power, no authority to pronounce upon credibility, legality or validity, of its process,” the PPP Executive Member added.

Expressing similar views, Dexter George, a representative of Change Guyana, related that his party does not support these claims as documented in the observation reports.

“In relation to the anomalies proposed by the APNU/AFC, we do not support those claims…persons had the right to vote, they came out, they exercised their franchise. And they did what was best for them,” George told media operatives.

Now that the recount of ballots has been completed, CEO Keith Lowenfield, is expected to present his report to the Commission for deliberation by June 13 and the Commission would then have no more than three days from which to declare a winner.

In addition to the tally of votes for each political party, Lowenfield’s report will also include a summary of the ‘observations’ made during the recount exercise.

The preliminary tabulated figures have so far placed the Opposition –PPP/C with a commanding lead over the incumbent APNU/AFC coalition.

The PPP/C is projected to take 33 of the 65 seats in Legislative Assembly, while APNU/AFC will take 31 seats.

The remaining one seat is expected to be held by the Joinder Alliance comprising the Liberty and Justice Party (LJP), A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and The New Movement (TNM).