Guyana still counting votes
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The opposition grouping, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU),was maintaining its early lead in the Guyana elections as the Electoral Commission (GECOM) continued counting ballots in Monday’s regional and general elections.
According to the preliminary figures released by GECOM, of the 100,695 valid ballots counted so far the APNU has 47,155, votes, with the Alliance for Change (AFC) 10,608; the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) 42,646, and the United Force (TUF) 286.
GECOM chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally had appealed to all stakeholders at the start of the counting on Tuesday to be patient as the votes are being counted in the election in which the ruling PPP/ C is seeking to extend its 19 year hold on power.
A total of 475, 496 voters were eligible to cast ballots to elect members to the 65-member National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Observer Mission, one of the many local and international groups monitoring that polls, said it’s assessment of Election Day “is that the people of Guyana were given the opportunity under good conditions to elect a government”.
The Mission has promised to issue a full report on the polls at a later date.
The Organization of American States Observer Mission team said that it has “observers present at the GECOM tabulation centre and in the office of the returning officer in region 4 who are following each step of the result gathering and tabulation process.
“These observers have been present on a 24 hour basis since the close of polls,” said Professor Shirley, head of the OAS Observer Mission.
He said he was urging “all actors in the electoral process to remain patient in awaiting the official voting results and to refrain from releasing unofficial election results before the GECOM have completed their work.
“Credible and timely results are the cornerstone of any electoral process and the only official results are those released by the duly constituted electoral authority. Releasing unconfirmed and unverified election results may lead to confusion among electors and party supporters and are not constructive”.