Granger Accepts Declaration, Speaks of Election Petitions
GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Aug. 2, CMC – The presidential candidate for the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic, Mohamed Irfaan Ali, 40, was on Sunday declared president elect of Guyana, and was sworn in hours later.
The swearing in ceremony took place at the the Arthur Chung Conference Centre. Former GDF Chief of Staff Mark Phillips was sworn in as Prime Minister and former President Bharrat Jagdeo was sworn in as Vice President. Anil Nandlall was sworn in as Attorney General and Gail Teixeira as Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. Other Cabinet appointments are to be announced later.
Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette Singh, in declaring Ali the winner of the controversial March 2 election, said that “article 177 (2) of the Constitution states that where there are two or more Presidential candidates, if more votes are cast in favor of the list in which a person is designated as presidential candidate than in favor of any other list, that Presidential candidate shall be deemed to be elected president and shall so be declared by the Chairman of the Elections Commission, acting only in accordance with the advice of the Chief Election Officer, after the advice has been tendered to the Elections Commission at a duly summoned meeting.”
The GECOM Chair stated,, “Whereas the list of candidates of the PPP/C for election of members to the National Assembly held on March 2, 2020, pursuant to article 60 (2) of the Constitution, designated Mohamed Irfaan Ali, as the Presidential candidate for the said election – and whereas, more votes were cast in favor of the list of the PPP/C than in favor of the list of any other party contesting the election of members of the National Assembly held pursuant to article 60(2) of the Constitution; Now therefore, in accordance with the provisions of article 177(2), I do hereby declare that Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Presidential candidate designated in the list of the PPP/C, has been elected President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.”
Outgoing President David Granger Sunday said he would respect the decision of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) after it declared the presidential candidate of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Irfaan Ali, the winner of the presidential election that formed part of the disputed March 2 regional and general election.
In a brief statement to the nation, Granger, 75, said he had seen the declaration issued by the GECOM chairman, retired justice Claudette Singh, in announcing the winner in keeping with the Guyana Constitution.
“I have stated, repeatedly, from the start of the electoral process, that the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Coalition would respect the lawful ‘declaration’ of the Elections Commission, “Granger said, adding “I have never altered this position and I do now acknowledge the ‘declaration”.
He said that his coalition “respects the lawful consequences of the ‘declaration’ as announced by the Chairman of the Elections Commission,” adding “I maintain that the Report ordered by the Court and presented to the Commission contains significant anomalies and irregularities.”
Granger said, “The APNU+AFC Coalition cannot endorse a flawed Report and will continue its campaign to ensure that the votes of all Guyanese are accurately recorded, tallied and reported.”
Granger said that the coalition would “challenge the declared results lawfully, peacefully and purposefully.”
He noted, “The Coalition asks its members, supporters and friends – who have been patient throughout our campaign and a prolonged legal process in our Courts – to continue to conduct themselves in a lawful and peaceful manner.”
Granger said that he wanted to express his appreciation “to all Guyanese” who participated in the regional and general election.
“I thank every member of the Alliance For Change, Guyana Action Party, Justice For All Party, National Front Alliance, People’s National Congress Reform and Working People’s Alliance and everyone else who supported the APNU+AFC Coalition. They brought passion and patriotism to bear on the conduct of this important democratic exercise,” he added.
According to a statement issued by GECOM, Ali 40, was declared President “after careful examination of the report” submitted by the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield.
In his report, Lowenfield also expressed dissatisfaction with the results, saying it does “not reflect the true will of the electorate.
“Notwithstanding the foregoing, with respect to your directive to provide a report according to section 96 based on the Certificates of Recount, the calculation of seats for each list of candidates is summarized….”
According to the report submitted by Lowenfield, the APNU received 217,920 votes; while the PPP/C received 233,336 with 5,214 went to other parties.
As a result, the PPP/C will have 32 seats in the 65-member National Assembly, while the APNU will have 31 and the other opposition parties one seat.
Singh has written to acting Chancellor of the Judiciary Justice Yonette Cummings Edwards, requesting that she facilitate the swearing in of the new president.