Nandlall denies Norton’s claim that Region Four break-up is election rigging plot

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 November 2021, 7:49 by Denis Chabrol

Anil Nandlall                        Aubrey Norton

Attorney General Anil Nandlall on Friday dismissed claims by People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Aubrey Norton that the proposed break-up of Region Four into four electoral sub-districts is aimed at rigging future elections by creating additional seats.

“Region Four remains the same number of seats. We didn’t create more than one district. We kept the district as one and we simply subdivided it,” Mr. Nandlall told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News. “The division of Region Four into sub-districts and all the other proposed amendments,  none of the them is intended, none of them is intended to give any political party an electoral advantage,” he added.

On Mr. Norton’s suggestion that there could be four separate centralised counting locations in each sub-district, the Attorney General gave no clear commitment and instead the process is open for consultations. At the same time, he sought to convince Guyanese that the proposed amendments to the Representation of the People Act were not geared at creating any political advantage for the People’s Progressive Party (PPP). “I wish to assure you that there is no sinister motive and these are not in any form or fashion designed to advance the political fortunes of any political party and certainly not the People’s Progressive Party,” he said.

Mr. Nandlall linked the plan to create sub-districts to Guyana’s most densely populated Region Four  and the experience of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

“If we are going to reform the law in relation to addressing the problems that arose then we have to look closely at District Four,” he said.

At the declaration made at the Region Four Returning Office on Hadfield and High Streets, APNU+AFC had received 136,335 and PPPC 77,258, but the second declaration at the GECOM headquarters,  Mingo had said APNU+AFC won 136,057 and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) 77,231.

But based on the recount, the PNCR-led coalition of  A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) won 116,941 votes and the PPP 80,920 votes.

The Attorney General flayed the PNCR Executive Member for not putting forward “any sensible” reason that if Region Four is broken up into four sub-districts would result in election rigging.