Despite the controversy swirling around the recount of the ballots in the March 2 General and Regional Elections in Guyana, Guyana’s Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo has expressed confidence that the incumbent APNU+AFC Coalition Government of President David Granger will eventually emerge victorious.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was expected on Saturday to complete the process of recounting the ballots, with the results of the elections to be announced within three days, Nagamootoo told the Caribbean Life in an exclusive interview on Friday.
“We’re very confidence of victory on the basis of the campaign, and what I’ve seen and the work that we’ve done,” he said. “The material evidence is there that the Coalition, absence of the fraud, has won the elections in Guyana.
“When all is said and done, the APNU+AFC Coalition will win,” Nagamootoo added. “Already the PPP (main opposition People’s Progressive Party) has started a set of violence to distract that the Coalition has won.
“We’re confident that, minus the fraud, that the Coalition has a handsome victory in the elections,” he stressed, stating that the PPP’s tactic of claiming victory, even before the recount is completed, is “to create confusion.”
“A new game has emerged and formed for regime change in Guyana,” the prime minister continued. “We find that they’re (PPP) making prejudicial statements around the world. They’re injecting fake news in the media. The (recount) process in not completed.”
Nagamootoo said after the winner of the election is announced and a new government is formed “an international commission should be established to see how the elections were influenced by outsiders.”
He described as “malicious” a statement made by St. Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves on the elections, stating that it was made to “prejudice the recount process.”
“For the prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines to suggest how the recount should be treated is very disappointing to me,” Nagamootoo said.
“It gives me a personal hurt for Ralph (Gonsalves) to make a statement about the election process, particularly with him becoming the incoming chair of CARICOM (Caribbean Community),” he added.
In an interview Friday night on the “Straight Up Live” radio talk program in Guyana, Granger characterized as “premature” and “reckless” statements made by regional leaders and others on the elections in Guyana, stating that all should wait on the announcement of the results from the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) before making prejudicial remarks.
Speaking on Wednesday on a program on the State-owned NBC Radio St Vincent and the Grenadines, Gonsalves said: “We expect the CARICOM observer mission to deliver its report, and we expect that the recount would be honored and the Guyana Elections Commission would declare the winner, in accordance with this recount”.
“Anybody who wants to challenge anything afterwards can go to court, but you have to declare the winner in accordance with the recount”, the Vincentian leader said.
“St. Vincent and the Grenadines stands firmly for democracy and reflecting the will of the people. That will tell you where we are. I don’t have to say anything straight and plain. CARICOM is not going to tolerate anybody stealing an election,” he added, stating that he is aware that a number of opposition parties, when they lose an election, make a number of complaints.
“It is almost a boring repetition. We get the reports, follow the law and who win, win,” Gonsalves continued. “When you take part in an election there is always a chance that you may lose, and if you lose …you take your licks like a man.”
But, on Thursday, a Guyanese group in Brooklyn strongly condemned Gonsalves for allegedly attempting to interfere in Guyana’s elections.
The Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) said in a statement that Gonsalves is “brazenly attempting to pre-empt the CARICOM elections recount Observer Mission in Guyana.”
CGID said that Gonsalves is attempting “to dictate to GECOM how it should execute its functions as prescribed by the Guyana Constitution.”
“Dr. Gonsalves, a foreign head of government is attempting to undermine this process on behalf of the PPP,” CGID said. “CGID doesn’t know how Dr. Gonsalves’ conducts elections in his country, but Guyanese will not accept an elections results that’s riddled with fraudulent ballots.
“Dr. Gonsalves is advocating that Guyanese must accept a vote tabulation that includes ballots, which a police investigation has established contains fraudulent votes,” it added.
CGID noted that GECOM is currently following a process set out in its May, 4, 2020 order, in accordance with the laws of Guyana.
“It is disgraceful and repugnant to the CARICOM Treaty for Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to interject himself into this process and attempt to interfere in Guyana’s elections,” it said. “Dr. Gonsalves’s statements also demonstrate contempt for the Courts and State institutions in Guyana.”
GECOM has denied declaring the PPP as the winner of the Mar. 2, 2020 elections, as claimed by the PPP.
GECOM said in a statement on Tuesday that it is the only constitutional authority that can pronounce on election results.
The Commission said it has noted reports in sections of the media and by individuals on social media platforms announcing the results of the Mar. 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.
“While the National Recount of the ballots cast in those elections is almost to an end, the Commission wishes to remind that the Guyana Elections Commission is the only Constitutional authority mandated to pronounce on the results of the elections,” the statement said.
As such, the elections body is urging political parties, organizations, interest groups and other individuals to “desist from pronouncing publicly on the results of the elections.”
On Tuesday, the incumbent APNU+AFC Coalition, said in a statement that it has detected a “massive fraud” at the conclusion of Recount of Ballots in Guyana on March 2.
The APNU+AFC said evidence is “pointing to well-planned and orchestrated scheme from region one to 10 to steal the election.
“These elections are far from credible, and the Guyanese people deserve to better,” it said. “We await the decision from GECOM on these fraudulent elections.
“We note that at the time of writing the Guyana Elections Commission, the only legal authority on elections in Guyana has not declared a winner,” it added.