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Elections results to be published in gazette, despite PPPC’s non-submission

Steps to publish the results of Election 2015 will be initiated tomorrow despite the fact that the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) is yet to submit its list of Members of Parliament who will sit in the 11th Parliament.

This decision was taken today by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) during a meeting held to decide on a way forward as the deadline for the publishing of the results has passed.

“We have agreed to go ahead to gazette the result. That will be submitted by tomorrow and (will) probably be printed by tomorrow evening,” said GECOM Chairman, Steve Surujbally, during a brief interview with Demerara Waves Online News on Tuesday evening.

Section 99 of the Representation of the People Act dictates that four sets of information should have been published no later than 15 days after Election Day – May 11th.

These include “the number of votes cast for each list of candidates; the number of rejected ballot papers; the number of seats allocated to each list of candidates; and the names of the persons who, as a result of the election, have become members of the National Assembly.” In accordance with Section 99 this information should have been published by May 26th.

The failure of the PPPC and the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) + Alliance for Change (AFC) coalition to submit, in a timely fashion, their lists of persons who will serve as Members of Parliament in the 11th Parliament prevented GECOM from meeting the deadline as the entity believes itself to be under a legal obligation to publish each set of information simultaneously.

GECOM has been in possession of all other relevant information since it published the final results of Election 2015 on May 16th.

Surujbally told this new outlet that the coalition submitted its list yesterday.

Today, GECOM Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, said “we don’t have the PPP’s list of extractees,” even as he shared that GECOM will publish the information without the PPP’s list. He, too, noted that “the only issue we had is the law says we have to publish four things. The question is whether we have to publish all at one time or in parts.”

PPPC Executive member, Anil Nandlall, has held for some weeks now that all four items do not have to be published simultaneously. In fact, Nandlall has argued that GECOM has never before published all four sets of information at the same time. There is speculation that GECOM could face legal action if it moves to publish the information referred to in Section 99 of the Representation of the People Act in part.

Nandlall’s contention, however, serves as an indication that legal action may not be likely, at least from the PPPC camp. Furthermore, Alexander said that the three GECOM Commissioners appointed by the PPPC offered no dissent when the decision was taken today to publish the results without the PPPC’s list.

PPPC General Secretary, Clement Rohee, could not be reached for a comment. Earlier this week, however, he told this news outlet that the PPPC does intent to submit its list, albeit late, but is yet to decided when/if its members will sit in the National Assembly once the 11th Parliament is convened.