General elections were held on March 2, 2020, and eight weeks later the incumbent APNU-AFC regime in collusion with the election agency, GECOM, is delaying a recount process negotiated by Caricom and agreed upon by the APNU-AFC and opposition PPPC leadership and supported by eight minor parties. There are only 470,000 ballots to be re-counted and Gecom says it needs 25 days to carry out the task.
To date, the main opposition party, the PPP/C, has agreed to all the requested measures put forth by GECOM for a recount, only to have the same measures modified or simply abandoned.
The elections were monitored by several experienced observer missions including, but not limited to, the OAS (Organization of American States), CARICOM (Caribbean Community), Carter Center, Commonwealth Observer Mission, the EU, Canadian Embassy, U.K. Embassy, US Embassy, and the UN, among others. Local observers included the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, Private Sector Commission, and Guyana Human Rights Association, Guyana Bar Association and several business chambers.
APNU-AFC stopped the counting of the ballots when it was imminent that the PPP/C has won a majority of the valid votes cast by a comfortable margin (53%-46%) according to statements of polls posted at the polling stations. Ballots from 9 of the 10 regions in the country were counted, tabulated, and authenticated via Statement of Polls (SOPs) by all of the officials and party representatives, and signed by the Gecom returning officers. The tabulation of votes for only one region (Region 4) was partially completed and was aborted after it became apparent that the APNU-AFC had lost the elections.
All observer missions and all opposition political parties have said the abutting of Region 4 tabulation was an attempt to fight the election results in favor of the loser, APNU-AFC.
The APNU-AFC leadership had invited a High-Level team from the Caribbean to oversee and validate the recount of all ten regions, but the team withdrew and left the country because APNU-AFC party filed an injunction to prevent the recount. The team included Ms. Angela Taylor, Chief Electoral Officer, Barbados; Mr. Anthony Boatswain, former Finance Minister, Grenada; Ms. Francine Baron, Chair of the Team and former Attorney General and Foreign Minister, Dominica; Ms. Fern Nacis-Scope, Chief Elections Officer, Trinidad and Tobago; Ms. Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, UWI.
The proposed duration of the recount is 25 days with no start up date being provided by Gecom. There are serious questions about the credibility of some top level Gecom staff who have been involved in the attempts to rig the results. Public trust is severely lacking and Guyanese are fearful that the recount process would not be credible and transparent. It is this real fear of compromised staff and delaying tactics employed by Gecom that has forced over 6,500 Guyanese to sign a petition asking the US government to impose sanctions on individuals who have been trying to subvert the tabulation process and therefore deprive the democratic rights of people to have a government of their choice. Guyanese remain skeptical about the impending recount process. They hope that the sanctions would force Gecom and APNU-AFC operators to walk straight, allow a fair count, and declare the real winner.
United States Secretary of State Pompeo, and Asst. Sec. of State for Western Hemisphere Ambassador Michael Kozak, has issued public warnings to the government, but still to no avail.