The Guyana Election Results: PPP 51%; APNU 47%

The HSNW observers, and other groups such as the Carter Center, note that the voting on election day was mostly trouble-free.  All qualified voters were listed on a Register of voters.  Before voting, each voter was required to sign in, present government-issued photo identification, swear to their identity, and then dip their finger into indelible ink as a final precaution.  Votes were cast on paper ballots, with a vote for a particular party.  A ballot was cast by the voter by inserting it into a transparent locked ballot box, guarded by a police officer, elections clerks, and two or more party agents.

















































Source:  Certified Results (Election Return Form 24) for Regions 1-3 & 5-10; Certified Results (Statements of Poll-Form 23A) for Region 4. Others (small Party national total results): A New United Guyana 2288 votes; Change Guyana 2017 votes; Liberty & Justice Party 2776 votes; Peoples Republic Party 1084 votes; The Citizenship Initiative 671 votes; The New Movement 237 votes; United Republican Party 403 votes

When the voting was complete at 6 p.m., the doors to each polling site were bolted shut.  The boxes were then unlocked, and the ballots counted and tallied, in front of anywhere from five to ten people - GECOM polling agents, the police guard, the party agents, and certified observers.

The tally of the vote at each polling site was then recorded on a Statement of Poll (SOP).  Duplicate SOPs were prepared for each party agent and observer in the locked polling site, and then all copies were signed by everyone in the room.  Duplicate SOPs were posted outside the Polling Site for the public, given to each party agent present, locked into the box with the ballots, and one was sent to GECOM to tally.

All that remained for the Guyana Elections Commission was to receive and tally the certified Statements of Poll from the 2,300 polling sites, and issue the results.

On 3 March, GECOM completed the tally in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. By 2 p.m. on 3 March, GECOM had also completed the tally of nearly 400 of the 879 polling site SOPs from Region 4, which includes the capital, Georgetown. Then GECOM officials – all appointed by APNU - deliberately stopped the count.

What followed was a series of actions which has been denounced by every major local and international observer delegation — including the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union, CARICOM, and the Organization of American States (OAS) — as an attempted election fraud.

A bomb threat was called-in to GECOM headquarters and international observers were ordered by police to “clear the building.  Many observers refused to leave, however, which would have left the remaining 400 packages of certified results and ballots unattended in an open room.

An APNU government minister threatened the international observers with arrest and deportation.  A termite fumigation squad then showed-up at GECOM headquarters, to clear the building.

In the midst of this, the APNU-appointed Elections Director, Keith Lowenfield, attempted to throw-out the certified results from remaining 400-plus polling sites, and instead substitute his own self-created spreadsheet, adding more than 25,000 votes to APNU’s actual vote.  Under heavy pressure from the international community, GECOM ordered Lowenfield to withdraw that brazen attempt to steal an election.

Then another APNU official, Clairmont Mingo, the Region 4 GECOM Officer, took-up Lowenfield’s spreadsheet and proclaimed it as the results of Region 4. The APNU Health Minister, Volda Lawrence, countersigned Mingo’s proclamation, although she has nothing to do with elections. GECOM has now posted Mingo’s fraudulent results on their website as the “official results.”

The international community, and all parties in Guyana except for APNU, denounced the fraud and advised APNU’s leader David Granger that he would face international sanctions were he to try to seize office on those fraudulent results.

APNU’s appointees in GECOM have now decided “not” to complete the tally of the 400 remaining SOPs from Region 4, but instead to conduct a “nationwide” re-count of all 457,000 paper ballots, and that a recount will take five months to complete. Many observers have now concluded that no recount will ever occur, and question whether the 2,300 ballot boxes – locked in APNU government-controlled warehouses - have been tampered with, and re-stuffed with fake pro-APNU ballots.

This election is especially important because of the discovery of massive oil reserves off the Guyana coast.  Exxon began pumping oil just three weeks ago, and the country’s GDP is expected to increase by 400 percent over the next four years.

APNU is supported mainly by Afro-Guyanese community, while the opposition PPP is heavily backed by the Indo-Guyanese population.

Granger’s government, elected in 2015, had a razor-thin one seat majority in parliament, which it lost, sixteen months ago, when one parliament member, Charrandas Persaud, switched sides and supported a Motion of Non-Confidence. For over a year, Granger refused to accept that vote and hold elections, until ordered to by the Caribbean Court of Justice, Guyana’s Supreme Court.

Guyana has a population of about 750,000, and is bordered by Brazil, Venezuela, and Suriname. It is estimated that more than one million Guyanese have emigrated to North America and the Caribbean since independence. There are more than 900,000 Guyanese-Americans in the United States, mostly in New York and Florida. President Donald Trump’s home county of Queens, New York is now over 10 percent Guyanese.

The National Assembly has 65 members. Voters vote for a party’s list, not for an individual candidate, and seats are allocated in accordance with the proportion of the vote each party has received, using the Hare allocation system.

The coming oil boom is expected to transform Guyana. In December, Exxon began commercial exploitation of a huge 2016 oil discovery off the coast, and production is expected to grow from 52,000 barrels per day this year, to over 750,000 barrels per day by 2025.

The International Monetary Fund anticipates that the Guyanese economy will grow by a staggering 85 percent this year owing to the oil exploitation - the biggest growth of any country worldwide.