President says will accept declaration of GECOM; says elections credibility yet to be determined

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President David Granger on Sunday said he will accept the declaration of the results of the election by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at the completion of the recount exercise.

“Whatever declaration comes from the Chairman of GECOM, that is legitimate and in accordance with the Constitution. I will accept,” he told the media at the Aquatic Center after visiting the Arthur Chung Conference Center Sunday.

Asked about contradictory statements being made by members of the coalition, especially his Attorney General Basil Williams who claimed that there is no law to allow GECOM to declare a winner based on the final figures of the recount, the President made it clear that he was speaking for the APNU+AFC Government when he says that he will accept the declaration made by GECOM.

President Granger had just wrapped up a series of meetings with the Commission, the CARICOM Observer team and his party agents when he said that he is willing to accept the declaration made by GECOM at the completion of the recount exercise.

While he believes the March 02, 2020 elections were well managed by GECOM, the credibility of those elections hangs in the balance until the ongoing recount process is completed.

President David Granger speaking with the press on Sunday, May 17, 2020. [Photo: Ministry of the Presidency]
The credibility of the results of the election was questioned when the High Court ruled that Clairmont Mingo, the Returning Officer for District Four breached the country’s electoral laws in making a declaration for his District.

The recount has been showing a pattern that the figures used by Mingo to make his declaration were inflated to give the Coalition a victory. The PPP has claimed it won the elections by more than 15, 000 votes and has published the Statements of Poll (SOPs) from District Four to show this; the Coalition has refused to publish the very copies of SOPs it also received from elections staff at polling places in the District.

But the Coalition is also now claiming that the recount is revealing that dead people and persons who are out of the country voted on Elections Day. As a matter of fact, APNU+AFC Candidate, Roysdale Forde on Saturday accused GECOM of systemic fraud questioning credibility of the process but are yet to provide evidence.

In what is his first public appearance in almost two months, the President reiterated sentiments that the elections were orderly but noted that the credibility of the results has not yet been determined by the elections body.

The APNU+AFC Coalition of which Mr Granger is the leader has repeatedly claimed victory in the election although it now questions its credibility.

Mr Granger was asked what the coalition intends to do if it feels that the final declaration is made based on results that are not credible.

He stayed clear of speculation in his response, saying that he cannot envision the outcome and neither can he envisage a situation which ignores the ruling of GECOM.

“But it is premature for anyone to say whether results of the count are credibility,” he added.

According to the President, during his meetings on Sunday several issues were raised with him and the GECOM Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh in confidence which he expects will be addressed soon.

Mr Granger also said that he expects the recount process to not only be completed “speedily” but also “correctly” so that the Guyanese people can be satisfied with the final declarations made.

“Never again should the people of Guyana have to wait this length of time to hear the results of the elections which were held on a particular day.”

He said there must be changes to the electoral system but did not elaborate what those changes are.

He said while it has been “much too long” he is satisfied with the measures put in place to bring the process to an acceptable conclusion.

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