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AFC welcomes peaceful transition of power

Last Updated on Monday, 3 August 2020, 15:36 by Denis Chabrol

The Alliance for Change (AFC) on Monday welcomed the peaceful transition of power from A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP)

The party said it was satisfied that a peaceful transition of government has occurred, asserting that it confirms our people and the nation’s commitment to the constitution and the processes and institutions of democracy.

Except for a small group of APNU+AFC supporters who chanted “valid votes only” not far from the Guyana Elections Commission,  there was no unrest in the capital or other parts of Guyana.

Before Dr. Ali was sworn in, President Granger appealed to supporters to continue to maintain the peace and said the election results would be challenged lawfully and peacefully in an elections petition to the High Court.

In publicly congratulating Dr. Irfan Ali on his appointment as Guyana’s ninth Executive President,  acknowledged that the March 2020 elections were undoubtedly an extremely hard fought one, adding that it remains disappointed with the outcome, due to “obvious and countless discrepancies and irregularities” that were not taken into account by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at the time of making its declarations.

The party contends that these discrepancies should have led to the use of only valid votes as it sees it. But a Court of Appeal decision to uphold an earlier ruling in the High Court found that votes from the national recount of ballots must be used to declare the results of the March, 2020 elections. This ultimately paved the way for a declaration and the swearing in of Dr. Ali.

“However, that notwithstanding, the party wishes to take this opportunity to put aside partisanship and rancour to congratulate President Irfaan Ali on his election to the highest office. Though it happened exactly five months after March 2, which certainly the AFC nor its partners wanted, nor even anticipated, it has been resolved through the assistance of the honoured institution of the judiciary. This is a demonstration that civility and democracy is alive and well. We must build on and reinforce this foundation,” the AFC said in a statement.

However, the AFC argued that fraud and numerous irregularities and anomalies uncovered during the recount exercise demonstrated that there was a “credibility deficit” in the March 2020 elections which will be pursued vigorously in an election petition. “The party and its coalition partners expect that the election petition will be expedited with the same alacrity as similar litigation which followed the elections.”

This adds to an earlier statement made by A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) Chairman and former President David Granger who noted that notwithstanding that declaration, the 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 AFC pledged to work with all partners to continue the fight for vitally needed constitutional and electoral reforms. “We will not tolerate discrimination, marginalisation, disrespect, and high crimes which were the hallmarks of the previous PPP administration. We further pledge to fight for all Guyanese to share equally the new found prosperity
which our nation has begun to experience” the statement added.