Thursday 22 October, 2020

Guyana Elections: Government and Opposition clash at GECOM

Officials of both the Government and Opposition almost came to blows on Thursday at the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) command-centre in Georgetown just as the Returning Officer (RO) was about to declare results for Region Four.

The region is the last outstanding administrative region to declare results in the March 2 Elections. 

Representatives of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) and A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) were throwing insults at each other in the full view of international observers who were monitoring the counting.

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Region Four, which houses most of the country’s population, will decide which party receives the most seats in the National Assembly.

Operations at the centre, located on High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, were stalled hours earlier following a bomb scare.

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said there is a cabal in GECOM working with the APNU+AFC to keep the coalition in power.

He said they will not stand for what he termed a “coup d'etat” since the people of Guyana will be the only ones to suffer.

“We will seek personal sanctions against every single official who tried to tamper with the results of the election. This is a stealing of the election in the presence of the international community,” Jagdeo stated.

He called on GECOM Chairman Justice Claudette Singh “to do her job” and instruct officials to begin the process to verify the region’s results.

Public Health Minister Dr Volda Lawrence was present during the confrontation and she said the PPP/C supporters were at fault in delaying the results since their supporters started attacking her and Region Four RO Clairmont Mingo first.

Mingo was hospitalized yesterday after he complained of feeling unwell.

Public Security Minister and APNU+AFC Prime Ministerial candidate, Khemraj Ramjattan showed up at the centre after he heard what took place.

He complained to Jason Carter, co-lead of the Carter Foundation’s Election Observation Mission to Guyana, and accused the PPP/C of invading the building.

Police were called to the scene to quell the disturbance.

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