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Joining APNU/AFC unity govt not an option for defeated PPP

by Zena Henry

Apart from their refusal to accept defeat at the General and Regional Elections 2015, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) does not see joining the A Partnership for National Unity +Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition in a government of national unity as an option.

President Donald Ramotar when asked about joining the Coalition’s unity train said that, “That has not arisen… that is not an option in front of the party.”

Later Thursday, Coalition Leader, David Granger again extended a hand of political inclusion to the PPC and its supporters to join the unity train for a new Guyana. ” We said that we want a government of national unity and in the coming days we will want to sit with the members of the PPP or those persons who didn”t vote for us and work out a stratergy for moving Guyana forward. This is the time for national unity,” he said.

He has previously extended invitations to the PPP to join the Coalition in a government of national unity. He had noted however that given the “evidence” of mass corruption under the PPP Administration, investigations would have to be conducted into many of the projects and acts committed by the former administration. He noted that once the members were not too caught up in “court matters or imprisoned” and hand clean hands, then they would be welcomed into the Coalition.

The PPP is adamant however that the 2015 Election was rigged like the others in Guyana’s history under the People’s National Congress (PNC) and only if their request for the recount of votes is fulfilled will they be willing to concede defeat. When asked, Ramotar said that “As long as these things are satisfied, then yes. You don’t want to be in government against the will of the people.”

He noted however, “We are convinced that these elections were rigged and that is why it’s very, very important for us to have a total recount of the ballots.” When told, too, of the Elections Commission’s statement that even if the PPP were to receive more votes after the recount it would not significantly foster change, the former President said that, “I would take what the Chief Elections Officer said with a great pinch of salt.” This he said is because there were words of intimidation and threats made toward the body.

Ramotar noted also that despite international observers declaring the 2015 Elections free and fair, he does not agree with that. He noted that apart from the complaints of the PPP it was the CEO who pointed out significant inaccuracies such as unusual voter turnout in certain areas in the country. They alleged that in some named areas there were more than a 100 percent voter turnout; for example in Mackenzie, Region 10 where 267 voters were registered at a polling station, but some 270 persons actually voted.

The party said too that on May 13, when the CEO refused to release the count for a remainder of 490 boxes, it was because he noticed such inaccuracies.

By mid-morning May 14, the PPP had met with the international community to declare their disagreement with the Elections results and their concerns about cheating and specifically, fake Statement of Polls which they claimed were found by the CEO.

The diplomatic community has reiterated their comfort with the recently held elections and urged all sides to accept the results.

On the local front, the Private Sector Commission welcomed the release of the results of the General and Regional Elections of 2015 by GECOM.

They urged all parties to accept the results.  “We have every reason to believe that the results reflect the will of the people of Guyana.  We urge the leaders to move forward in a spirit of unity, trust and reconciliation as we continue to build our beloved Guyana.”