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ACDA, PPP, small parties back calls for national recount of votes

The African Cultural and Development of Association (ACDA) on Thursday said it was committed to resolving Guyana’s current political impasse through a national recount of votes cast in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, but said the winner must share the political power.

“A verified recount of all electoral districts as legally permitted under the Constitution, under the supervision of CARICOM in chronological order from one to ten, ACDA expects the African community and our political leadership to accept the results of a recount and will call on them to do so if necessary,” the organisation said.

Noting that it respects citizens’ rights to seek redress in the courts of law on any related electoral issue, ACDA urged Guyanese against allowing political leaders, activists or detractors to “divert our attention from maintaining a unified stance against disruptive behavior in the common interest of all Guyanese.”

ACDA restated its demand dating back to 1998 when it stated that whichever party wins, it should form a government of national unity for an agreed period with a clear mandate to complete constitutional reform for shared governance with a view to enabling the country to achieve social cohesion and ending the “winner take all” governance system.

In apparent reference to possible consequences, including isolation, by the United States, Britain, Canada, European Union and France, ACDA said “no one should be elated about sanctions or the threat of sanctions being imposed on Guyana since all investments in Guyana will be at risk and those with the greatest amounts of investment are likely to lose the most.”

The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has warned that if David Granger is sworn in for a second straight term without a total national recount, his administration would be regarded as illegal and that it would back calls for sanctions. “We will expect and we will call for and already we have been told there will be serious international sanctions on Granger, the cabal and even the country. Now, that will create hardships for lots of people but it will make it very uncomfortable for the cabal; the same ones who are hell-bent on swearing in a President on the basis of these fraudulent results,” Jagdeo told a news conference.

The PPP, along with Change Guyana, United Republican Party, A New and United Guyana, The New Movement and The Citizenship Initiative, A New and United Guyana, Liberty and Justice Party, and the People’s Republic Party, on Thursday reiterated their call for a national recount. “The political parties signed hereto, welcome the call for a recount of Guyana’s General and Regional Elections held on March 2, 2020 to allow for a declaration by GECOM in keeping with The Representation of the People Act Chapter 1:03 and Election Laws (Amendment) Act 2000,” they said.

They announced that they have applied to be parties against the injunction, filed by A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) candidate, Ulita Munroe, that blocked the CARICOM-supervised national recount that had been proposed by Guyana’s two top political leaders. “We feel strongly that the injunction is without merit as it seeks to undermine the clear statement made by the Chairperson of GECOM to have a recount of the votes, and the joint agreement signed by President David Granger and Opposition Leader, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo,” they said.

The political parties have jointly or individually applied as respondents to the interim ex parte injunction granted by the Honourable Justice Franklin Holder, which is set for hearing at 9:00 AM on Friday, March 20, 2020, at the High Court of Guyana.

The PPP and the other parties also called on GECOM to store the shipping containers with ballot boxes for Region Four and Region Six at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal. “It is of paramount importance that the security of the containers containing the voting ballots be preserved. This is best achieved by all containers being stored at a central location and to permit party scrutineers to be on site and guard against any tampering with the ballot boxes,” they said.

The Justice For All Party (JFAP), which is a member of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) has also called for a national recount of the votes and respect of the outcome.