Opposition Holds Significant Lead In Guyana Elections, With Largest Region’s Results Still Out

Presidential Candidate and opposition leader, Irfaan Ali

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, (CMC) – With the Returning Officers (RO) in nine of the 10 regions having declared results, the main opposition party, the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), holds a significant 51,439-vote lead in the regional and general elections.

The poll results from Region Four — the country’s largest and the only one outstanding — is expected to be declared today.

In the country’s last regional and general elections in 2015, the governing coalition — A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) — won Region Four by approximately 43,000 more votes than the PPP/C.

On Tuesday evening, officials of both the APNU+AFC and the PPP/C were summoned to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) office, after the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, said some hiccups had halted the counting process in Region Four for some time.

He said, however, that the process resumed, later on Wednesday night, with the verification of the 192 Statements of Poll (SOP) from the East Bank of Demerara.

“Once that process is finished, there will be a declaration for Region Four. The law prescribes that once there is a declaration by the following day, once there is need for a recount that will be done before making the final declaration of the elections,” he told reporters, adding that GECOM was moving to release the results of the elections, as quickly as possible.

“At the moment the Commission is trying to ensure that while it understands the anxiety of the citizenry, it does not want transparency to be lost in the process. The whole posture is to ensure that there is transparency in the process, and to plead with citizens to remain calm, so that we have the correct results that will be to the satisfaction of all,” the GECOM CEO said.

President David Granger, last night, urged nationals to be patient and allow GECOM to officially announce the results of Monday’s regional and general elections.

“I cannot make a declaration tonight, because the Guyana Elections Commission, itself, has not received all of the declarations from the Returning Officer,” he said.

Granger noted that the coalition, APNU+AFC, had “made some challenges”, as well as the main opposition PPP/C.

“Right now, verification is still taking place. The numbers have not been verified and we cannot make an announcement until the Elections Commission makes a declaration,” Granger said, adding that he had hoped, that by now, the declaration would have been made.

“I ask you to be patient, and we hope, that Thursday, the Chairman of the Elections Commission would make some form of declaration. But right now, it is quite impossible since nobody knows the final scores,” Granger said, urging, “I crave your indulgence, let us patiently wait until the declaration comes from the Elections Commission.”

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