Ramotar questions integrity of international observers

Last Updated on Friday, 15 May 2015, 19:54 by GxMedia

Commonwealth Observers were among those who monitored Guyana’s elections.

by Zena Henry

President Donald Ramotar Friday afternoon questioned the integrity of international observers, suggesting that they might unwelcomed in countries where they certify rigged elections as free and fair.

Ramotar  pointed out that more observers help to boost confidence in a country’s electoral process but they must be wary of their image being tarnished by giving a clean bill of health to questionable elections.

“This election here now also goes to the integrity of the observers that are involved. That if they give a clean bill of health to an election that you have clearly rigged, I don’t know if anybody will want them in their country to observe any election; at least the group that would say something like that,” he said.

Ramotar argued that is would be in the interest of the international observers to support the recount of ballots given the “rigged” election which they would have witnessed and supported as being “free and fair” on May 11.

Ramotar, the presidential candidate for the, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), along with some members of his former Cabinet are refuting that the elections were free and fair, claiming a number of discrepancies within the process and urging a recount of all ballots casted within the country.

When asked why the international community would declare the election free and fair with the allegations that party is making, the President said he could not speak for the international community but noted he was being told about the statements that some of the figures being presented as being tabulated were not so done. He said he understands that the British High Commissioner would have made such statements and declared, “If he did say so, I can say here now, if he did say that, he is dead wrong. He is dead wrong about this information.”

He continued that, “It is in their interest too, for their integrity to also hope that we get a recount of the ballots.”

It was also stated that observers here had observed the counting of ballots and verification at the Election Commission headquarters in Georgetown. However to this, the party said, examining what happened at the polls and what happened at GECOM are two different things. “…If by the time, from the polling station, to the station they were sitting looking at what GECOM is doing from a statement of poll that is now fake to what they are tabulating, the two things don’t correspond. You’re looking at two different things,” former Agriculture Minister Leslie Ramsammy explained.

The party said what the international community needs to look at now, “is what we are giving them; Statement of Polls that emanated from the polling station… compare those to the SOPs that were used in the tabulation.”

The party was unable to say however at what level the seemingly deliberate “systematic” “mathematical” changes were made.

While international and local pressure continues to mount on the PPPC to give up power and pave the way for A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change’s (APNU+AFC)  David Granger to be declared the winner and sworn in,  GECOM is giving itself until midday Saturday before officially declaring the winner.

Preliminary results released by GECOM show that the PPPC narrowly lost the election with 201,457 votes compared to 206,817 votes by APNU.