The main opposition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) on Sunday for the first time openly conceded that verification of the results would not change the outcome of the general and regional elections held almost two months ago. “We do not expect that the verification will reverse the major outcomes of the 2011 elections but we still need to get the elections right,” APNU Chairman, David Granger said on Christopher Ram’s weekly interview programme, Plain Talk. He, however, said his opposition coalition would still be pushing for the Statements of Poll for the November 28 polls to be reconciled as part of a process to clean up the operations of the Guyana Elections Commission. “Regardless of what the examination or the verification comes up with, we should move beyond running some sloppy elections. The results are too slow, the logistical arrangements are too backward and people need to know within a matter of hours what the outcome is,” Granger said.
Articles about voting issues in the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.
General elections in St Lucia and Guyana on November 28 have raised serious questions about the financing of campaigns and the unfair use of state resources by governing political parties to gain an advantage over their opponents.
In St Lucia, it is alleged that a significant portion of the United Workers Party (UWP) campaign funds came from Taiwan. The UWP was the ruling party at the time of the elections and the then leader of the Opposition and leader of the St Lucia Labour Party (SLP), Kenny Anthony, had engaged in a public row with the Taiwanese Ambassador over his blatant interference in the electoral politics of the island. In Guyana, it is claimed that the ruling Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) outspent its three rivals by a sizeable margin in the elections campaign.
Police fired tear gas and rubber pellets on Tuesday to disperse about 500 protesters demanding an election recount in Guyana, a day after the home of a ruling party politician was reportedly firebombed. Leaders of the opposition Partnership For National Unity said eight people were slightly injured in Tuesday’s clash, including a 79-year-old woman, a retired army chief and the head of the party’s youth movement.
Guyana’s new president was sworn in yesterday, pledging that his minority government will work with an opposition-controlled Parliament in the South American country. Donald Ramotar, a 61-year-old economist, said he would consult with leaders of other political groups and name a Cabinet in 48 hours.
“The new arrangement in Parliament will test the maturity of our leaders,” he said. “Pettiness must be put aside.”
Ramotar’s People’s Progressive Party, which is dominated by people of East Indian descent, won 32 seats in Monday’s election, four less than it had in the last Parliament. The Opposition Partnership For National Unity has 26 seats, a gain of four, and the Alliance For Change has seven, a gain of two.
Electoral officials in Guyana say Donald Ramotar of the governing People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) is to be the next president. But the party, mainly backed by Guyana’s ethnic-Indians, lost its parliamentary majority for the first time in 19 years. This could make it difficult for Mr Ramotar if opposition parties opt to work together, analysts say. A delay in announcing Monday’s poll results had heightened tensions.
The Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) said the People’s Progressive Party had won 32 seats, the opposition coalition A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) 26 seats, and the Alliance for Change seven seats.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has announced that persons who are listed in the 2011 Official List of Electors (OLE) but are not in possession of their Identification Cards will be allowed to vote. GECOM, in a release stated that information published that persons who do not possess their ID cards will not be allowed to vote, is misleading.
The only persons, who will not be allowed to vote at the elections, are persons whose names are not on the 2011 OLE. National Identification Cards and Valid Passports will be used to verify the identity of electors who are listed in the 2011 Official List of Electors (OLE). However, if an elector is not in possession of his/her ID card, the Oath of Identity will be administered in accordance with Section 8 of the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03.
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the Guyana government on Thursday signed an Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) for the general and regional elections in Guyana to be held at the end of 2011.
In a ceremony held at OAS headquarters in Washington, DC, Secretary General José Miguel Insulza and the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the OAS, Ambassador Bayney R. Karran, signed the document, while at the same time expressing their wishes for the elections in the Caribbean nation to take place in an environment of normalcy and transparency.
The Electoral Assistance Bureau (EAB) says it has launched a programme to monitor Guyana’s general and regional elections due later this year.
A release from the EAB’s Council of Management on Friday stated that they would be testing the voters’ list and providing hotline and open house services to individuals wishing to check their names on the list or report any irregularities.
Additionally, the NGO will be conducting public awareness, training and placing observers at all polling stations to observe the polling process, and monitoring the count and award of seats to the National Assembly.
The Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Monday voted 3-2 in favour of reopening the Claims and Objections period to allow several thousand persons with source documents to be registered in order to vote later this year.
“The proposed date for the reopening of the exercise is July 25th 2011 for a duration of 13 days with the Claims aspect running for 10 days,” GECOM Chairman Dr. Surujbally announced at news briefing Monday afternoon.
Guyana: Government Ministers decry attempts at administrative disenfranchisement of voters in Guyana | NCNGuyana
Following Friday evening’s discussion on the National Communications Network (NCN) on which Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr Roger Luncheon appeared with Dr Prem Misir, discussions continued on disenfranchisement of a significant number of Guyanese who were not in possession of their source documents prior to the closure of the Claims and Objections period.
On the panel, Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. Frank Anthony and Minister in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsaran reiterated that those who have not been able to register due to no fault of their own and who would have made stringent efforts to get registered should be able to do so.