A number of Government Ministers have started to thank their staff and have moved out of their ministries even as President Donald Ramotar and former President Bharrat Jagdeo have indicated that they do not intend to concede defeat in Monday’s elections.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett sent an email to all her staff members, thanking them for their service to the country and for working with her.
She wrote “I write to thank all of you for ensuring that my stay at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was a rewarding and happy one. Thank you for your dedication, professionalism and cooperation, which helped to make my job an easier one and more than that move the Ministry to a higher level.”
Rodrigues added that “the time has now come for me to say farewell and I do so with a contented heart knowing that you all will continue the good work for Guyana. Let me wish you and your families every success as we all enter this new period in our country.”
Writing on his Facebook page, Minister of Natural Resources, Robert Persaud also conceded defeat and call for a move forward with a government of national unity.
Persaud wrote that with the win by the APNU+AFC coalition, there is now “a grand, historical opportunity to change the paradigm of how we govern and make everyone feel truly a part of the future as we march to 50 years of independence. Victory where all are winners, notwithstanding the showing of each party, Guyanese, all Guyanese, should feel included in continuing to build a prosperous and cohesive society.”
The Associated Press reported that Labour Minister, Nanda Gopaul also appeared to have conceded defeat in the elections. Gopaul expressed concern with the President’s announcement that he will not concede.
“I am most disturbed by statements by the PPP that it is not conceding the loss at elections. This is the best way to demonstrate that we are a democracy. I am a patriot and want to see the country move. No one race must dominate. Everyone must be made to feel they are part of the democratic process. That has always been my position. It will be in the best interest of the nation for the PPP to concede”, Gopaul told the AP.
Based on the final preliminary results, the PPP lost the elections by just over 5000 votes and will now find itself on the opposition side of the National Assembly after 23 years in government.
President Donald Ramotar said he wants a total recount of every vote of the over 400,000 votes that were cast. Former President Jagdeo said the PPP does not intend to roll over and just concede.
It is unlikely that GECOM will allow the total recount. Two regions have already recounted their ballots and found no change in the votes.