Georgetown, Guyana: As controversy continues over the accuracy of last Monday’s general election results, the European Union (EU) on Friday called on contesting parties to settle any dispute through the courts.
“The EU calls on all actors to respect the legal procedures and address any possible grievance through the channels established by the law,” the EU said in a statement.
The EU’s statement comes against the background of the incumbent People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) claiming that it was cheated because results on fake statements of poll were used to calculate the results.
The PPPC, which has been in power for 23 straight years, was up to late Thursday tight-lipped on whether it would seek a High Court injunction to block GECOM’s official declaration of a winner that would subsequently lead to the swearing in of the Coalition’s David Granger as the next President.
An Elections Petition can be filed in the High Court only after the final official results would have been declared.
The PPPC wants a total recount of the more than 410,391 votes cast in the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections before that party accepts the results that preliminarily show that it narrowly lost the election with 201,457 votes. The A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition is expected to be officially declared the winner with 206,817 votes.
The Returning Officers of several electoral districts have since refused requests by the PPPC for total recounts.
Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield has confirmed that there were several bogus statements of poll but the number of votes involved was insufficient to alter the results declared so far.
The EU’s statement on the elections appeared to be somewhat measured compared to those by the American, British and Canadian envoys here. For its part, the EU says the elections were “largely peaceful, transparent and inclusive with a high turnout and good performance of electoral authorities. “ “The EU commends the Guyana Elections Commission for an efficient and well-organised election process,” added the EU.
The Canadian High Commission bluntly discarded the PPPC’s concerns and instead praised GECOM for a smooth and credible electoral process. “Numerous allegations have been made disputing the integrity of the electoral process. Allegations reported on May 11 were investigated by international observer missions, and no evidence was found of anomalies that would have a material impact upon results. Similarly, no evidence has been provided for allegations reported.”
The US Embassy confirmed receiving and examining allegations by the PPPC but said “nothing contained therein changes our baseline assessment of the electoral process.” “Based on our observations of the polling, counting, and tabulation process and the conclusions reached by other international observer missions, we continue to assess that the election process was free and fair. We remain confident in the Guyana Elections Commission’s ability to deliver credible results that accurately reflect the way votes were cast by the Guyanese people on May 11,” said the embassy.
The British High Commission said it has not found any evidence to support the PPPC’s allegations nor has any been provided. “We remain confident in GECOM’s ability to deliver an accurate result and urge them to produce a final tally as soon as possible. We also urge all to continue to exercise patience, support the work of GECOM, and respect its final result.”