Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 June 2023, 15:34 by Denis Chabrol
Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vishnu Persaud on Tuesday said except for Georgetown where there was a hiccup, the results of Monday’s Local Government Elections in the other nine electoral districts have been declared by Returning Officers in those areas.
“All of the Returning Officers, who are statutorily tasked with declaration, have so done. Declaration of results is done publicly within the respective Local Authority Areas,” he told Demerara Waves Online News.
He said the results were already available in the Local Authority Areas in the other nine districts and would be disseminated by GECOM later Tuesday through Deputy CEO Aneal Giddings who is responsible for posting them on the election management authority’s website.
The CEO said the results for Georgetown had not yet been ascertained and was “likely” to commence Tuesday morning with the hope of completing that task later in the day. Mr Persaud explained that the declaration of results for Georgetown was held up because Presiding Officers converged at the Georgetown Returning Office, Critchlow Labour College to deliver the results to the Returning Officer in keeping with the law. The CEO said the process was later modified to allow Presiding Officers to also present Statements of Poll to Deputy Returning Officer.
He said that exercise lasted until 3 AM Tuesday by which time E-day workers said they needed to go home and rest. “The staff, and justifiably so, said that they were too burnt out to go and treat with something like ascertainment of results. I agreed with that and so the whole operations were halted,” he said, adding that that exercise was expected to resume at 10 AM Tuesday. In addition to the Returning Officer and Deputy Returning Officer, he said “very competent” support staff “that I have absolute confidence in” would be added to the team.
A number of Presiding Officers Monday night and early Tuesday morning openly vented their frustration at the long delay in the process. An ambulance was summoned to the Critchlow Labour College as a number of workers reported feeling ill and needed medical attention.
Asked whether he had determined that the initial arrangement would have caused congestion in Georgetown, the CEO said “no” and that he had discussed plans for Georgetown “in detail” and he advised that he did not expect to go beyond 10 PM Monday for receiving the Statements of Poll. Mr Persaud said the Returning Officer had based his assumption on knowledge of the geography Georgetown, arrangements for moving Presiding Officers with their Statements of Poll. After that advice, Mr Persaud said he countered by giving an extra one hour- to 11 PM Monday- for the receipt of Statements of Poll. “Under the circumstances of election management, insofar as the delivery of Statements of Poll is concerned, that is not abnormal,” he added.
The People’s Progressive Party Civic , A Partnership for National Unity, a number of small parties and independent candidates contested Monday’s Local Government Elections