…recount reconfirms victory
The PPP/C has emerged the winner of March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections following the national recount of the final ballot box (#4877) from Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Sunday.
The PPP/C gained in excess of 15500 votes over its main rival, A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC).
The elections recount was witnessed by representatives of all the nine (9) political parties that contested the elections, observers from Caribbean Community (Caricom), the Organisation of American States (OAS) and local observers including the Private Section Commission and American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM).
On March 2, the original counting of the ballots cast had proceeded smoothly and had been completed in nine (9) regions with the PPP/C in a commanding lead.
However, the tabulation of Statements of Poll (SOP’s) was interrupted in District Four (Demerara-Mahaica) after Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo switched from the legal procedure – which ensures transparency where each SOP – that is each SOP had to be exhibited to the stakeholders present to enable comparison to their copies.
However, Mingo diverted to a procedure where the purported numbers from the SOP’s were incorporated into a consolidated spreadsheet. This led to immediate calls for transparency from both local and international observers.
After recourse to the High Court, when all the parties excepting APNU/AFC protested the sleight of hand that facilitated an inflation of the votes for that party.
Following a High Court’s decision, Mingo was ordered to revert to the prescribed procedure but he repeated his subterfuge in another guise and submitted totals that varied substantially from those of other parties and had the APNU/AFC ahead rather than the PPPC.
The Chairwoman of GECOM, retired Justice Claudette Singh agreed to a recount of the all votes, which had been proposed by caretaker President David Granger and agreed to by Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo after an intervention by several Caricom leaders.
Since then both leaders have recommitted to accepting the results of the recount.
As the recount process wound down, voices from the domestic and international community – local Church leaders, the Private Sector Commission, the US State Department, Ambassadors of the US, EU, UK, Caricom, OAS have been calling for an acceptance of the recount by all the parties leading to a peaceful transition for the new government that has been chosen by the people of Guyana.