Representatives from various small political parties have joined in criticising the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for its actions, or lack thereof, which led to the cancellation of the recount that was scheduled for Monday and the actual eviction of party agents who had gathered to watch over the ballot boxes.
A New and United Guyana’s (ANUG) Kian Jabour highlighted the issue in a video streamed when Police dressed in riot gear arrived and began herding party agents out of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
“There are Police in riot gear who have formed a barricade of themselves in front of the containers and are now walking forward trying to remove people and getting everyone out. We’re not going far. We’re going to be around the area, watching the containers.”
“A lot of things came up from the Ashmins building and you heard a lot about how we are hooligans. Let me tell you what happened. We’ve been here peacefully all day, calmly quietly. We waited patiently and when we heard that they weren’t doing the count, that we’re just going to stick around here and guard the containers.”
Jabour made it clear that it has now become a fight for democracy, since the police are being used to frustrate what is supposed to be a transparent process. According to him, they will not be taking the bait to react emotionally and then have the narrative twisted.
“They are now using Police in riot gear to bait us to get angry. This is a fight for democracy. We’re here telling them, no we have to stay here with the containers. And they’re physically removing us. They’re pushing us out of the compound.”
“This will cause tension to rise. They’re trying to bait us to react, but we said no, we’re not going to react like that this time. We have our locks on those containers. We’re not going to fight this physically.”
When he arrived earlier on Monday for the already delayed count, Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) Presidential Candidate Lennox Shuman, who was one of several other party reps at the location to oversee the process, had been very critical of the delay. He had attributed it to delay tactics.
“There has been a lot of back and forth, that really disturbs us. Initially, they had hammered out an agreement, only to find out they have to come here and sanitise the place. It’s all delay tactics,” Shuman had said.
“Obviously GECOM did not get ahold of us. But we were proactive. We are expecting GECOM to provide last minute notification to us and then we have to hurry up and get here,” the Presidential Candidate also said.