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PPP pickets GECOM as part of intensified campaign for vote recount

Former President Donald Ramotar and other PPPC supporters picketing outside the Guyana Elections Commission.

The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Thursday intensified protests against the recent general election results, even as it fine tunes preparations to file an  Elections Petition in the hope of having the polls declared fraudulent and make way for fresh elections.

Former President Donald Ramotar and several of his former ministers were among the estimated 100 persons who picketed and chanted slogans outside the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to press their case for a recount of the more than 400,000 votes cast at the May 11, 2015 general elections.

“Surujbally must go now,” “Cheated but not defeated,”’ “We need an impartial GECOM, “Surujbally rigged elections 2015 tally,” “We demand a recount of our votes now,”  “We demand ethnic balance at GECOM,”
“Surujbally stole our votes,” “We want democracy not hypocracy,” , “Quit the farce. Count my vote,” and “Rigged elections, fraud govt.”

PPP General Secretary, Clement Rohee expressed confidence that protest action and a local and international campaign would force GECOM into agreeing to a recount. “We have demanded a recount from the very beginning. The votes have been stolen and with the stealing of the votes we have to demand that each vote be recounted,” he said. 

Rohee warned that his party would “step up the protest incrementally” while his party prepares to file the petition within the legally stipulated time.

Former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs , Anil Nandlall explained that he intends to persuade the High Court in the Elections Petition to order a recount that would eventually lead to the quashing of the elections. “The court will order the recount because it is my expectation that we will put enough evidence to the court to show that these elections should be vitiated, that there were material irregularities that would have materially changed the results declared,” he said.

He highlighted that despite the PPPC’s repeated requests GECOM has so far failed to provide copies of the Commission’s Statements of Poll, raising concerns about whether the commission has been tampering or altering them.

Nandlall declined to provide a specific number of votes that the PPP has won at the elections. “We would have won the elections by several thousands. I don’t want to discuss the figure,” he said.

Attorney-at-Law, Charles Ramson Jr. recalled that the Region Four Returning Officer and GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally had found ways of avoiding the delivery and receipt of a request for a recount shortly before the declaration of the official results.

Other former ministers on the picket line were Robeson Benn, Priya Manickchand , Irfan Ali and Juan Edghill.