Guyana’s Opposition still wants to challenge March 2 election results

The main opposition coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), is to file election petitions challenging the outcome of the March 2 regional and general election on Monday.

Joseph Harmon, who is expected to become Opposition Leader when the Parliaments meets following the disputed polls, said in a post on his Facebook page that “the petition will be filed on Monday, 31st August, 10 am, Supreme Court Building.

“We are asked to mobilize in numbers to lend support to our party. We want a big manifestation against this persecution that is going on,” he wrote.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) had on August 2, named the then main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) as the victors in the poll receiving 32 seats as compared to 31 for the APNU. An amalgam of small opposition political parties has been awarded one seat in the 65-member National Assembly.

Stronger democracy

At his inauguration, President Dr Irfaan Ali said a forensic probe would be conducted into the problems surrounding the disputed elections.

“Very importantly, we will pursue the necessary reforms to make our democracy stronger and our electoral process more transparent,” Ali said at his inauguration as he announced plans for the forensic probe into the recent polls. He warned that those found culpable would be punished.

Ali was declared head of state last Sunday after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) accepted the report reluctantly filed by Chief Elections Officer Kevin Lowenfield, based on the national recount of votes that had been supervised by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

The declaration by GECOM ended 22 weeks of legal action by APNU, which had contended that there had been many irregularities. It has since indicated that it will be filing election petitions contesting the declarations by GECOM that the PPP/C were the victors of the election.