Guyana’s ruling party takes the lead in preliminary poll results

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Wednesday November 30, 2011 – After taking an early lead in the polls, the opposition coalition –  A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) – is now lagging behind the ruling People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C), according to  preliminary results from Monday’s regional and general elections.

With just over 30 per cent of the votes counted so far, the PPP/C has amassed 68,424 votes to the APNU’s 63,924.

The Alliance For Change (AFC) had 15,824 and The United Force (TUF) had 484.

Yesterday, the Organisation of American States (OAS) urged political parties to be patient and not to release unofficial results.

“Credible and timely results are the cornerstone of any electoral process and the only official results are those released by the duly constituted electoral authority,” said Professor Gordon Shirley, Chief of Mission for the OAS Electoral Observation Mission.

“Releasing unconfirmed and unverified election results may lead to confusion among electors and party supporters and are not constructive.”

The announcement of election results was delayed for around 10 hours to facilitate the arrival of authenticated hard-copy Statements of Poll at the headquarters of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

Commission Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally has appealed for calm.

“I call on the leaders of the contesting parties with whom I’ve been in dialogue not to engage in anything which could generate tension, unease or even fear in our normally peaceful society,” he said.

“I appeal to all Guyanese individually and collectively not to speak or act in any inciting manner that would cause others to react with hostility nor should anyone react to any speech or action which might carry the intent of provoking hostile reactions.”

Caricom’s 19-member Observer Mission said in its preliminary report that Monday’s poll was fair and peaceful.

“The Mission’s assessment of Election Day is that the people of Guyana were given the opportunity under good conditions to elect a government,” Caricom said in a statement.
“The officials remained calm and focused and the observation is that the process was transparent and in those circumstances electors were able to give free expressions of their feelings when casting their ballots.”

A team from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), which comprised representatives of Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Ecuador and Suriname, described the voting as transparent and orderly. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)