Local Elections Observer, the Private Sector Commission (PSC) has expressed its disappointment that 24 hours after the close of polls, Returning Officers (ROs) are yet to declare elections results in their respective districts.
“We really expected elections results, at least, by the declaration of the Returning Officers by this time (17:15hrs) today…We expected to have the declaration by at least the five big regions: Regions Three, Four, Five, Six and 10 by today, 12 o’clock – 1 o’clock the latest…[Declarations for] Regions One, Two, Seven, Eight and 9 have started sometime this morning,” PSC Chairman, Captain Gerry Gouveia told the media this afternoon at the commission’s Waterloo Street, Georgetown Office.
The Chairman posited that the process is being delayed without any “acceptable” reason from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
Asked if he would have engaged GECOM to register his concerns, the Captain said he met with the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, earlier today, to get assurances that he (Lowenfield) was not restricting the ROs from making declarations. Gouveia’s reason for such an inquiry stems from actions “in the past” where ROs were told to hold off until the tabulations were completed in all the regions.
“Lowenfield told me that he was not interfering with the process; that the Returning Officers were allowed to make their declarations, but what concerned us though, is even at this time, we have not been aware of any official declaration of the results at the regional level,” Gouveia said.
The pilot reminded that the law prescribes that ROs must declare the results immediately after the tabulation process, and information reaching the PSC suggests that some officers already have their results, but are not declaring.
Gouveia said that this kink in the system is the only issue that PSC has with the entire process. He lauded GECOM for having such a “robust” process for casting ballots. He said that aspect was straightforward and was free, fair and credible.