…on elections recount
Even before the final results of the May 11 elections were announced by GECOM, the PPP/C had questioned the Preliminary count. There was a gap of only 5000 votes between the PPP/C and APNU/AFC.
Pointing to discrepancies in the numbers between their SOPs and that announced by GECOM from 22 boxes, the PPP/C asked for a recount of those boxes. They said the Chairman of GECOM agreed.
It seemed a reasonable response – how long would a count take?? Especially since the PPP/C said they’d accept the entire results if the minuscule recount showed no discrepancy.
But then lo and behold, there was no recount and the “final” result – which saw some small additions to both parties totals, but retained the 5000 votes in favour of APNU/AFC – was declared.
The APNU/AFC, according to GECOM and the international observers had “won”. What was the PPP/C to do?? Well they had the precedent of the PNC/R back in 1997. Then, even though there was a gap of 40,000 votes in favour of the PPP/C, the PNC/R claimed there was “rigging” and demanded a recount.
But it didn’t only do that. It came out with supporters in the streets in violent protests and presented the PPP/C from governing even though all the international observers had also vouched for the elections.
Eventually, Caricom was called in and the “Herdmanson Accord” was brokered between the PPP/C and the PNC/R. There would be a “forensic audit” of all ballots, constitutional reform, and a truncation of the PPP/C’s term of office by two years.
In the present, with a much better case for a recount, the PPP/C has thankfully not called out its supporters in violent protests. All they have done is to direct their peaceful protests to GECOM at its national HQ in Georgetown and in the regions calling for a recount and a resignation of GECOM’s Chairman.
It doesn’t appear that the protests are having any effect and we hope that the PPP/C doesn’t feel compelled to follow the PNC/R’s precedent. Guyana suffered too much in the ten-year war that followed – which had armed gunmen in Buxton taking on the state and individuals deemed to be “supporters of the PPP/C”.
If this was done for a 40,000 gap, it’s quite possible that even “non-hot heads” might be roused to radical action for a contested 5000 gap.
This Eyewitness believes that all those countries that have professed to have Guyana’s interest at heart must prevail on GECOM to allow an internationally vetted “forensic audit” to be done to the results.
If we go by the PNCR’s 1997 actions, not to do so could place Guyana back on the precipice.
When the PPP/C administration trumpeted the oil find by Exxon , they were accused of electioneering. Well, the news has now come from the horse’s mouth and all Guyanese should sit up and take notice.
If Guyana’s to know any peace and experience true development of its people from the expected massive increased flow of revenues, there must be a national approach.
The actions of the new administration – even as its bona fides are being challenged – to make unilateral changes on national matters does not bode well that this will be done. How do you change 48 years of tradition in commemorating our Independence Day without consulting the PPP/C??
What other event is there in Guyana’s history to which the people can say they ALL participated? And if this can be redefined arbitrarily and unilaterally by one party – this Eyewitness is worried.
We suggest that the new administration take a deep breath on oil, independence and everything else that concerns us all.
Folks might want to ask, “Roopnarine for Sports?” But the fella did represent Queens in senior cricket back in the day – as well as Cambridge University. Like so many Caricom leaders, he’s a cricket tragic.