By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – US Charge d’ Affaires Bryan Hunt is urging that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) accept the status of being Guyana’s political opposition by taking its 32 out of 65 seats in the National Assembly and taking part in the governance of Guyana.
Hunt made the comment while speaking on a local radio programme on Thursday, May 28 and responded to questions from the host about the PPP/C’s non acceptance of the results from the 2015 General and Regional elections.
Hunt posited that 49% of Guyana’s electorate voted for the Party and wanted to see the PPP play a role in governance; therefore they should not fail those persons who voted for them at the May 11 polls.
The final results of the General and Regional elections show APNU+AFC with 207,200 votes and the PPP/C with 202, 694 votes, hence the APNU+AFC won by 4,506 votes.
For the regional polls the APNU+AFC acquired 205,001 votes and the PPP/C 202,268. The PPP which was unseated at the elections by a slim majority has been in office for the past 23 years. The Party has already indicated its intention to challenge the results of the elections by way of a petition.
“I think it is incumbent upon the Opposition to take their seats in Parliament and take part in the governance process. 49% of the people wanted to see them in parliament, wanted to see them take those seats wanted to see them play a role in the governance of the country and I hope that the PPP/C will take up that responsibility that they have and take up that role in government,” said the Charge d’ Affaires.
The PPP/C has since stated that it is yet to decide on how it intends to deal with the new government and its role in the 11th Parliament.
Meanwhile, when questioned about the allegations of elections rigging and collusion between the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the APNU+AFC, Hunt said the PPP has not provided any amount of evidence to support its claim.
“They have provided a number of allegations. The allegations seem to center around their claim that 21 of the statements of poll in their possession differed from the ones used by the Guyana Elections Commission…and members of the observers groups have reviewed the statements of poll provided by the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic and the statements of poll in the possession of GECOM and I can tell you there is no difference in the two documents. They are identical,” Hunt remarked.
The US envoy indicated that for Guyana to move forward, the new government will have the responsibility of forging a genuine representation of inclusionary democracy. He contended that this could be achieved through widespread stakeholder consultation on the part of the government given that close to half of Guyana’s electorate may not agree with the policies being advocated by the administration.
“The government comes into office with a very slim majority; I think it is going to be important therefore that the focus remains on inclusive governance. As the President and his government move forward they are going to need to consult broadly with Guyanese society, they are going to need to consult with civil society…with the Opposition…they are going to need to make sure that the policies that they advance are going to have the broad support of the Guyanese people and not just 51% of the Guyanese people,” the US Envoy emphasized.