‘Elections were orderly, lawful’

‘Elections were orderly, lawful’

PRESIDENT David Granger, on Thursday afternoon, briefed diplomats from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and the European Union on the just-concluded general and regional elections, asserting that the process was in full compliance with the constitution.

He also insisted that it was not the role of the executive to interfere in the work of the elections body. President Granger, on several occasions in the months leading up to elections, had made similar statements. His iteration of same to the diplomats on Thursday comes amid allegations by the opposition and some other groups regarding the Guyana Election’s Commission method of verifying the results of the polls.

During his meeting with the diplomats, the Guyanese leader told the ABCE Diplomats that at every step of the electoral process he has complied with the laws of Guyana. The President said Monday’s General and Regional Elections were orderly and were in full compliance with the law and the Constitution. President Granger assured that at no time did he feel the commission was incapable of conducting fair elections. He reminded that it is not the role of the executive to interfere in the work of the commission.

Meanwhile, the British High Commissioner, Greg Quinn; Canadian High Commissioner, Lilian Chaterjee; Ambassador of the European Union, Fernando Ponz Canto; and the Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Sarah-Ann Lynch, in a joint statement, said that based on their observation of Thursday’s GECOM proceedings at their Region Four office, and the fact that the full count was not completed, “we question the credibility of the Region Four results published by GECOM today.” The diplomats urged the Guyana Elections Commission, and all relevant actors, to expeditiously complete the tabulation on the basis of the statement of polls. “We call on all Guyanese to remain calm and patient, and for all leaders to exercise responsibility and restraint,” the statement ended.

Over 600,000 Guyanese are eligible to vote in the 2020 General and Regional Elections. And, there are some 2,339 polling stations across the 10 administrative regions. Nine political parties competed in the general elections and 11 in the regional elections.

Subsequent to observing the process at the Beterverwagting Secondary School polling place, President Granger said he had observed that there is tremendous enthusiasm on the part of the electors at all of the polling stations that he visited.

“Everything was in order, the staff was in place, and they had all their materials… I have not received a single complaint in all of the stations I visited and I have been visiting stations for nearly three hours… the staff is aware of their duties and they are performing their duties efficiently,” said President Granger.

Considering the “tremendous” enthusiasm, he expected a massive turnout. The President went on to say that the whole Guyana should be happy because the “democratic process” was moving smoothly and even international observers should have nothing to complain about. President Granger although being satisfied with the process, said the coalition had noticed a few anomalies and abuses, but the party’s agent, Joseph Harmon, had noted those issues and raised them with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Harmon in an invited comment said there was an issue at one polling station, where the six-digit stamp was only stamping four digits. The matter was brought to the attention of GECOM. Additionally, Harmon said there were smaller issues which were addressed as the day progressed.

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