GEORGETOWN, Guyana, CMC – The Guyana Elections Commission Tuesday blamed a number of factors, including inclement weather in one of the regions, for a further delay in announcing the complete preliminary results of Monday’s regional and general elections.
But despite the setbacks, commission chair, retired Justice Claudette Singh, told reporters “our elections, were as promised, GECOM has delivered free and fair and credible elections,” adding “we had a very well run elections despite all the naysayers and the many rough areas which we had to ensure to get here at this point in time.
“I will ask you to be very patient …the results are trickling in and the process of verification is being conducted,” she said, promising to have the results announced, “as early as possible …we are still verifying and signing off…”
Chief elections officer, Keith Lowenfield, said that the process of bringing closure to the receipt of all the statements of poll (SOP) “from all across Guyana, particularly in the far-flung areas” was continuing and hinted at the official results being released by Wednesday.
“Once those statements are received, the arrows will ensure the verification process continues to ensure publicly the results of all of those stations are known to all and sundry and at its conclusions, those declarations will be made and no doubt as the aircraft returns to the city the statements will be delivered.
“So this is where we are as at…we are moving as I said to ensure that all those administrative processes and the need to have all the agents from the respective parties, all the observers in the districts and the media involved in those verifications and the declaration.”
Unlike most of the other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries, Guyana does not use the “first past the post system in electing its government, relying instead on proportional representation.
The political parties were required to submit three separate lists to contest both the general and regional elections, with the elections to the National Assembly being drawn from two lists, namely the National Top-Up List and the 10 Geographic Constituency lists.
A total of 40 parliamentary seats can be drawn from the National Top Up list and following the elections, the total number of valid votes cast is divided into 40 and parties are allocated seats according to who has the greatest number of votes.
A total of 25 parliamentary seats can be drawn from the Geographic Constituency lists and the parties allocated seats according to who has the greatest number of votes.
The elections commission said that nine political parties are contesting the general elections, while 11 are participating in the regional poll.
Political observers say the contest is a straight fight between the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) headed by President David Granger and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), whose presidential candidate is the former housing minister Ifraan Ali.
On Monday, the commission said that 660, 998 persons were eligible to vote at the 2, 339 polling stations across the country.