Granger accepts election report, may challenge result
GEORGETOWN – President David Granger Sunday said he would respect the decision of the Guyana Elections Commission GECOM) after it declared the presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Irfaan Ali, the winner of the presidential election that formed part of the disputed March 2 regional and general election.
In a brief statement to the nation, Granger, 75, said he had seen the declaration issued by the GECOM chairman, retired justice Claudette Singh, in announcing the winner in keeping with the Guyana Constitution.
“I have stated, repeatedly, from the start of the electoral process, that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition would respect the lawful ‘declaration’ of the Elections Commission, “Granger said, adding “I have never altered this position and I do now acknowledge the ‘declaration”.
He said that his coalition “respects the lawful consequences of the ‘declaration’ as announced by the Chairman of the Elections Commission,” adding “I maintain that the Report ordered by the Court and presented to the Commission contains significant anomalies and irregularities.
“The APNU+AFC Coalition cannot endorse a flawed Report and will continue its campaign to ensure that the votes of all Guyanese are accurately recorded, tallied and reported.”
Granger said that the coalition would “challenge the declared results lawfully, peacefully and purposefully.
“The Coalition asks its members, supporters and friends – who have been patient throughout our campaign and a prolonged legal process in our Courts – to continue to conduct themselves in a lawful and peaceful manner.”
Granger said that he wanted to express his appreciation “to all Guyanese” who participated in the regional and general election.
“I thank every member of the Alliance For Change, Guyana Action Party, Justice For All Party, National Front Alliance, People’s National Congress Reform and Working People’s Alliance and everyone else who supported the APNU+AFC Coalition. They brought passion and patriotism to bear on the conduct of this important democratic exercise,” he added.
According to a statement issued by GECOM, Ali 40, was declared President “after careful examination of the report” submitted by the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield.
In his report, Lowenfield also expressed dissatisfaction with the results, saying it does “not reflect the true will of the electorate.
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to your directive to provide a report according to section 96 based on the Certificates of Recount, the calculation of seats for each list of candidates is summarised….”
According to the report submitted by Lowenfield, the APNU received 217 920 votes; while the PPP/C received 233 336 with 5 214 went to other parties.
As a result, the PPP/C will have 32 seats in the 65-member National Assembly, while the APNU will have 31 and the other opposition parties one seat.
The three government appointed GECOM commissioners – Vincent Alexander, Charles Corbin and Desmond Trotman- have since dissociated themselves from the GECOM declaration and reiterated the need for fresh elections.
“We feel that every vote should be counted and no invalid vote should be allowed to impact the results. Any other approach will lead to another political saga in our country`s short but turbulent political history. We are therefore distancing ourselves from any Declaration other than a non-declaration and fresh elections,” they said in a joint statement.
But Singh has since written to acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, requesting that she facilitate the swearing in of the new president.
A date for the swearing in is to be announced. (CMC)