Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 June 2023, 0:49 by Denis Chabrol
Ahead of official declaration of results in Guyana’s Local Government Elections, both major parties are claiming victories in keenly contested Local Authority Areas such as three major towns that are traditional strongholds of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR)-led A Partnership for National Unity (APNU).
Up to early Tuesday morning, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) did not post results on its website, and counting of votes and declaration of results at several polling stations were slow.
Buttressed by national incumbency, the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP) ran aggressive campaigns in the APNU heartlands of Georgetown, Linden, New Amsterdam, Bartica and Mahdia, urging voters to cast their ballots for fulfilled national promises such as the restoration of the children’s cash grant, new housing developments, and the rehabilitation of roads, bridges.
Despite the PPP’s repeated open assurances that it does not discriminate against Afro-Guyanese, APNU said its results show that so far it won nine of the 15 constituencies in Georgetown, all 8 of the constituencies in Linden and retained control of Bartica and New Amsterdam. APNU also said on its Facebook page that it won all six constituencies in Mocha, East Bank Demerara, and Kwakwani, Upper Berbice River.
For the PPP, its General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo said a preliminary assessment of unofficial results shows that his party would win more constituencies than “we have won in the past” and the gap with APNU in the City “would be significantly smaller.” He did not provide any figures. “It means that we’ll do extremely well in Georgetown. It’s unbelievable for me because, as I said before, regardless of the results today that the PPP has already demonstrated that it is the only multi-ethnic party that is capable of bringing a crowd together that is made up of people of all races in this country,” he said. He noted that the PPP had already admitted that it would be very difficult to win an opponent’s strongholds.
The PPP had won three constituencies in Georgetown in the 2018 Local Government Elections.
The PPP General Secretary said he was impressed with “major inroads” in Georgetown and New Amsterdam as well as ties in Bartica and Mahdia that would lead to a plurality of votes in the PPP’s favour. Elaborating on his party’s fortunes in New Amsterdam, he said “in many, many areas we went neck-to-neck with APNU in what was traditionally where we’ll get 10 votes in the past in a particular polling place. We are almost getting even numbers with APNU in many of those areas,” he said.
According to the political leader, the PPP would win more than 65 of the 80 Local Authority Areas and take some of the towns that were previously under APNU.