Accusation of rigged elections justified, says Guyana official

On February 12, Ramotar, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, spoke of incidents that occurred at several polling stations, where PPP/C polling agents were barred from entering.

The article also stated that actions by the opposition threatened the peace in the country, and as a result forced many to depart from executing their constitutional rights and opposition leader David Granger has since come out calling for the statement to be retracted.

According to Luncheon, the comments by the opposition leader did not in any case question the constitutionality of the decision made by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) but were, however, centered on the government’s comments on the issue of mischief when counting the votes and manipulation, which are claimed to have severely robbed the PPP of votes.

“I don’t believe that the statement in any way could be construed to be a reflection or to have an impact on the legitimacy of the government, saving except that you might be speaking about the government and the plurality, this was exactly what the president was alluding to,” the cabinet secretary said.

“However, while the government was successful in the general elections, the combined opposition enjoyed the plurality, and has obtained more seats in the Parliament notwithstanding the fact that the PPP had more seats than any other party in the (National) Assembly,” he said.

“You might know that the PPP was the only contending party at the General Elections, which lodged an objection within the stipulated timeframe. You might know also that after discussions the PPP withdrew those objections primarily in Regions Three and Four,” he said.

The basis for the withdrawal of the objections by the ruling party, Luncheon said still exists and continues to exist.

“In the very first instance, President Ramotar repeatedly offered for us to do a forensic audit and go to the courts as we did before. The fact that that has not happened may very well be the basis which encouraged the other participants to explain, but certainly I felt that there wasn’t a consensus among the three parties to so do,” he said.

 


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