The APNU+AFC coalition yesterday called on citizens to remain calm and not engage in any act to disrupt national life or cause any strife or inconvenience even as it noted that the final declaration of results of Monday’s general election by the Guyana Elections Commission is still being awaited.
Amid unrest as protests erupted at several locations along the coast, the coalition, in a statement, urged Guyanese to conduct themselves in a peaceful and law-abiding manner as they go about their daily activities.
Further, the APNU+AFC coalition urged all Guyanese to respect the will of the people as exercised in Monday’s polls. “APNU+AFC Coalition commends the hundreds of thousands of Guyanese who exercised their right to vote on Monday and who have remained calm and peaceful as we all await the final declaration of results by the Guyana Elections Commission,” the statement said.
Both of the main political groupings, APNU+AFC and the PPP/C, have said that they won the elections. However, an official declaration by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is yet to be made and the opposition parties and international observers have called for the Region Four votes to be verified.
Meanwhile, in a separate statement, the AFC, the junior coalition partner, urged that disagreements be resolved in accordance with the law.
“The AFC is encouraging all Guyanese to remain calm and to act at all times in the interest of Guyana and our democracy. We must resolve our disagreements in accordance with the stipulated legal process. The AFC as a partner in the coalition government gives our citizens the assurance that it will do all in its power to support a resolution of the current situation acceptable to all stakeholders and to have an appropriate review of our electoral arrangements undertaken to foster greater confidence in the outcome of future elections,” the statement said.
In noting the concerns that have arisen regarding the declaration of results for Monday’s general and regional elections, the AFC said that despite some concerns about the process in certain regions, it believes that the elections were generally well conducted within the provisions of the Representation of the People Act.
“We take note that some of the international observers have expressed similar sentiments and have commended [GECOM] on its conduct of the elections. We therefore regret that an otherwise orderly process has become marred by the unfortunate events relating to the declaration of the results for Region 4,” the statement said.
According to the AFC, the entire nation has placed its confidence in GECOM’s ability to conduct these elections in a manner that is in keeping with the legal requirements and which maintains the credibility of the process. GECOM is the constitutional body which is legally empowered to conduct elections and to make decisions and declarations relating to the outcome of those elections, it observed.
“The AFC firmly believes that the outcome of that process should reflect the political will of the electorate. Equally, it is the AFC’s position that there is a clear legal process to be followed if there are disagreements with GECOM’s decisions and we urge all concerned – political parties and observers – to embrace and, where appropriate, utilise those processes. All concerns and objections must be clearly documented and addressed within the framework of the law,” the party asserted.
It condemned the “invasion” of GECOM’s offices by members of the People’s Progressive Party, including Leader of the Opposition Bharrat Jagdeo and Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and their intimidation of GECOM officials.
“This display of hostility and hooliganism has created an atmosphere of fear and tension at GECOM’s office and among its personnel. It has also contributed to the creation of a volatile situation in various areas of the country where there are now sporadic instances of unlawful behaviour. This unsavory behaviour must be repudiated and condemned by all who would wish to maintain Guyana’s democracy,” the AFC declared.