The incumbent People’s Progressive Party on Wednesday announced that it had requested the recounting of ballots at a number of polling stations across the country in all ten of the voting districts.
The Guyana Elections Commission will have to decide on whether it will allow the recount. The PPP is concerned about the high voter turn out in some areas while worried also about the “high number” of rejected ballots at some polling stations.
The party said it also wants the recount because some of its polling agents were forced to leave the polling stations before the count was completed “out of fear”.
PPP Civic national candidate, Dr. Frank Anthony said while voting was generally free and fair, some agents were intimidated and left the polling stations.
“We have noticed a very high number of rejected ballots which we believe may have resulted following the absence of some of our counting agents in some of these areas”, Anthony said.
He said the party also became suspicious with a high voter turn out in some areas which appeared higher than the national average.
Although Anthony could not give specific polling stations where the recount was being requested, he said the information will be passed on to the Guyana Elections Commission.
PPP Civic Candidate Priya Manickchand reported that there were a number of “irregularities” in the Region Five area.
The PPP appears set to win that region but Manickchand admitted that the issue is not about winning or losing but rather ensuring that every vote counts.
She complained also about the fairness of the elections and said while the elections may be seen as free and fair, it may not have been free from fear for a number of the PPP’s agents.
When questioned why if the agents were fearful for their lives, reports were not made to the police, Manickchand said she did not believe that would have made much sense at the time.
At one point of the Freedom House press conference, Manickchand waved a photograph of a man voting and said he does not appear to be the person’s whose name was on the voters list and appeared younger in age than the age that was listed.
However, when pressed for details about the voter or the name on the list, she said she could not offer that at this time.
She also complained about sending several emails to the Returning Officer for the region about alleged “irregularities” but her complaints were not addressed.
Dr. Anthony said its unclear whether the recount will have any major impact on the results of the elections but the party still felt it necessary to seek the recount.
He said while based on his figures the PPP still maintains a lead, he would not disclose those figures at this stage.
LISTEN to press conference here: https://soundcloud.com/gordon-moseley/ppp-press-conferencethe-recount-may-13-2015