OAS says recount result will provide credible basis for legitimate gov’t

The General Secretariat of the Organisation of American States (OAS) last evening declared that the soon to be concluded National Recount here will yield a credible result for the March 2nd General and Regional Elections (GRE).

“A declaration based on these results would lead to the installation of a legitimate government,” the Secretariat said in a press statement.

The statement is seen as significant in light of Wednesday’s declaration by the incumbent APNU+AFC that numerous instances of fraud have been unearthed during the 29-day recount and therefore the result from the process will not be credible.

The OAS yesterday dismissed as normal “some inconsistencies in the electoral materials reviewed during the recount” stating that the organization has no reason to doubt that the results emanating from the recount will be credible.

“OAS International Election Observers have been present at the recount center – the Arthur Chung Conference Center – each day of the national recount. They have reported that the review of the ballot boxes was conducted in a professional, transparent and impartial fashion, which allowed members of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), political parties and other stakeholders to accurately determine the results for each polling station,” he explained.

Reminding that both President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo agreed to accept the results of the recount, as conducted by GECOM and scrutinized by CARICOM, as final, the General Secretariat  stressed that Guyanese deserve a peaceful transition of government based on the majority vote as reflected in the recount.

The statement  noted that while the OAS Electoral Observation Mission (EOM) has repeatedly asked GECOM to provide copies of the Statements of Poll prepared at each polling station on election night, and the Statements of Recount prepared during the current process to allow the EOM to do its own analysis; access to these materials has not been granted.

The statement stressed that the electoral procedures agreement signed between the OAS and GECOM on February 26, 2020 allow for the mission to access this information.  Yesterday was the OAS’s first disclosure that GECOM had denied them access to these documents.

The OAS statement can be viewed as a significant blow to the incumbent APNU+AFC which has argued that the election recount was riddled with fraudulent practices and that “any results emanating from this process cannot be considered credible because of the high incidence of fraud.”

The OAS has been a key presence throughout the observation process. Its mission here was led by former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding. The team pulled out in protest at the flawed tabulation for District Four and other issues. It, however, deployed some of its personnel here to monitor the recount. On May 13th this year Golding dramatically presented evidence to an OAS Permanent Council meeting stating that there had been clear rigging of the general elections via the spreadsheet numbers presented by District Four Returning officer, Clairmont Mingo.