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Granger says elections petition is next move after GECOM declares winner

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and President David Granger meeting Tuesday meeting. Accompanying Jagdeo was Irfaan Ali MP and with Mr Granger was Director-General of the Ministry of the Presidency, Joseph Harmon. (file photo)

President David Granger on Sunday afternoon signaled that he might concede defeat after the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) declares the results in the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections and take his A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) allegations of electoral fraud to the High Court.

“President Granger said that notwithstanding that declaration, the APNU+ AFC coalition maintains that the anomalies and irregularities which have been uncovered during the recount process cannot be accepted and will form the grounds for an election petition,” the Ministry of the Presidency said in a statement.

The international community and Guyana’s courts have ruled that the recount data must be used to declare the results after which any aggrieved party can mount a challenge by filing an election petition to the High Court

The President said based on the recent Guyana Court of Appeal ruling, the Guyana Elections Commission has “a legal obligation as a result of the recent ruling of the Court of Appeal, to proceed with a declaration.”

On the face of the 460,352 valid votes that were recounted, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) stands to be declared the winner with 233,336 and APNU+AFC) has won 217,920. The three ‘joinder’ parties- A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM) got a total of 5,214‬ votes.

GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh earlier Sunday made efforts to have President Granger and Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo talk about the way forward, in keeping with a request by the three pro-coalition election commissioners that Guyana’s two major political leaders hold talks. The commissioners had cited the unacceptability of the recount data as the basis for declaring the results.

The President, according to the statement, explained that he had no objection to speaking with Mr. Jagdeo but as far as a proposed declaration is concerned.

Mr. Jagdeo said he told Mr. Granger that he would not be talking before GECOM declares the winner.