PPP says GECOM deliberately withholding official LGE results

first_imgAlmost two weeks after the 2018 Local Government Elections (LGE) was held, the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) is accusing the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of withholding the official elections results, including vital breakdowns of party votes.In a statement on Friday evening, the PPP said GECOM continues to act in a manner that erodes public confidence in itself, while also conveying the public impression that it is ostensibly acting in consort with both the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the Alliance For Change (AFC) by not disclosing the “official results”.To date, according to the Opposition, all GECOM has done is the release of theGECOM Headquarters, Kingston, Georgetowntotal votes cast as 208,534, which constitutes 36 per cent of the total of the registered electors.“In the past, within a few days after elections, GECOM would normally disclose the formal results, which would include the votes obtained by each of the political parties contesting those elections, along with further breakdowns in terms of votes cast per region or votes cast per Local Authorities Areas (LAAs) along with rejected/spoilt ballots. On this occasion, for some inexplicable reason, GECOM is refusing to disclose this vital breakdown,” the PPP stated.The PPP believes that the refusal to do so is intentional, adding that if GECOM has the aggregate number of votes cast then it also has access to the votes received by each party since the aggregate whole is made up of those constituent parts.“We believe that GECOM is withholding this breakdown of the results in order to conceal from the nation the magnitude of the loss suffered by both the APNU and the AFC at the recently concluded LGE; and it is this omission, which allows the AFC to fabricate contentions of the like that it has received 10 per cent of the votes cast, a blatant lie,” the Opposition noted.The Party went on to highlight the “seriousness and alacrity” with which GECOM has treated certain allegations, which first surfaced on Facebook from “unconfirmed and dubious” APNU sources that there were certain irregularities, in relation to, the procedure for the approval for proxies in the municipality of Mabaruma.“Our information is that the GECOM officials who visited from Georgetown were being openly transported in the Mabaruma area by APNU officials. There was not even an attempt to hide the complicity. So here we have GECOM officials leaving Georgetown to travel to Region One [Barima-Waini] to investigate certain spurious claims emanating from Facebook, which at best, can have no material impact whatsoever on the results of that municipality, simply because APNU was soundly thrashed by the PPP at LGE in that area,” the PPP statement further detailed.Furthermore, the PPP has made multiple complaints of serious irregularities right across the country and according to the Party, in most cases, it did not get even a response from GECOM. The Party noted that whenever it did get a response from the elections body, it was one that rejected their complaints.For instance, the PPP drew attention to the numerous complaints of widespread allegations of blatant forgeries both on the lists of candidates and the lists of backers of both the APNU and the AFC; complaints against the Returning Officer for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), who refused to accept requests for recounts by the PPP, which are guaranteed by law, in relation to the 2015 General and Regional Elections and rather than receiving some form of sanction from GECOM, this officer was promoted by GECOM to the position of supervisor for Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), in respect to the 2018 LGE.The Opposition continued that even in the elections petition filed against the 2015 General and Regional Elections, the Party highlighted a number of irregularities and illegalities committed in the electoral process; rather than assist the court in having these irregularities and illegalities addressed and ventilated, GECOM filed proceedings to strike out the petition.“Unless there is a fundamental change in the way GECOM functions, it will continue to contribute to a lack of confidence, not only in the Commission itself, but in the electoral machinery as a whole,” the PPP stated.Four days after the November 12, 2018 LGE, the Elections Commission held a press conference where it revealed the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has turned in significant improvements over its 2016 performance. What has also been revealed is that the elections were held with a voter turnout of just 36 per cent of the electorate.According to statistics released, the PPP made major gains in several Neighbourhood Democratic Councils and municipalities. For instance, the Party won 5 out of the 10 towns. These are Mabaruma, Anna Regina, Rose Hall, Corriverton and Lethem.Additionally, the data shows that out of 572,531 persons registered to vote, only 208,534 actually went out to vote. This is a turnout of 36 per cent. When LGE were last held in 2016, the turnout was 47 per cent.last_img read more

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