Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, Chair of the Caricom, the regional body itself, and the high level Team ‘scrutineering’ the recount of the March elections are praised by Guyanese for diligent efforts to help bring about a resolution to the election count impasse that would result in the declaration of an official winner. This is according to opinions obtained from the latest views of an ongoing tracking poll exercise being conducted by well known pollster Dr. Vishnu Bisram, head of the North American Caribbean Teachers Association. Almost every Guyanese said the election was free and fair but that the count was fraudulent. They commend the Caricom Chair, PM Mottley, for facilitating the recount exercise, and they also express support for Gecom Chair to undertake it although they feel the process needs to be expedited to bring about a quick resolution. They are grateful to the 3 members Caricon Team lauding it for transparency in the exercise. They want the Caricom delegation to remain in Guyana till the completion of the recount exercise and the declaration by Gecom of the winner. Respondents in the poll are disappointed that that the internationally acclaimed Carter Center election team has been denied entry to witness and pronounce on the recount. A majority of the respondents feels the PPP has won the elections but are anxiously waiting the official declaration by Gecom.
The tracking poll has been supervised and monitored by Dr. Bisram, Director of NACTA, who has been conducting surveys in Guyana for over three decades. The poll’s findings are reflective of the views of the demographic diversity of the general population. Dr. Bisram’s pre-election survey predicted a PPP victory.
Based on latest opinions gathered, almost everyone is of the view that observers from the Carter Center should be granted entry into the country providing that they abide by the protocols established by the Covid Task Force pertaining to the recounting exercise. The Caricom Team has been allowed in Guyana under such condition while Carter center is denied landing permit.
Asked if the Carter Center observers should be allowed entry into the country as per the Covid Task Force guidelines, only 7% are opposed with 5% not giving an opinion. The prevailing view expressed by the nation is: Since the Carter Center Observers were in Guyana before the election, and they witnessed the original count that became mired in a dispute, they should be allowed to monitor the recount. It is felt Carter Center will add validity to the recount and help bring the election to a closure. To buttress their support for the Carter Center, some point to its presence in Guyana in 2015 that helped with the certification of the coalition victory and acceptance of the results by then ruling PPP.Asked if they feel the March 2 general elections were free and fair, only 4% said they don’t think so, with 3% unsure, and 4% not giving an opinion.
A large majority rejects the Mingo count. Asked if they feel the Mingo count was fraudulent, 61% said yes and must be ignored and rendered null and void; only 27% accept it with 12% not give a view on it.
Asked which party they think won the elections, 57% said PPP with 32% saying they think coalition has won and 11% offering no response. Many have already begun to refer to Dr Irfaan Ali as the President elect, which they base on the original unofficial count from SOPs that they say is now being confirmed by the trend in the recount exercise.
Asked if they support the recount, almost everyone (93%) answered in the affirmative; only 3% opposes it and 4% offer no response. Asked if the recount has been transparent, 95% answered in the affirmative with 5% not offering an opinion. Almost everyone (92%) is supportive of the Caricom Chair (PM Mottley) and the regional body for the mediation effort via a recount to bring about resolution to the disputed count; 4% opposes it and 3% not offering an opinion. Respondents say the parties must accept the numbers in the recount as the final figures of the election, and the loser must gracefully concede defeat. Respondents also praised the diplomats and governments of ABCE countries for standing on the side of democracy in Guyana.
The Gecom Chair has earned kudos for supporting and overseeing the Caricom proposed recount and putting in abeyance the Mingo count as well as the Lowenfeld declaration that has not been seen by the public. Claudette Singh’s poll numbers have been climbing ever since she gave an assurance in a sworn affidavit to the court two months ago to ignore the Mingo fraudulent count and authorized the recount. Some 63% now give her a positive rating, up from March, with 29% negative and 8% offering no view. Her negatives are attributed to distrust, slothfulness in the count, and uncertainty over declaration. Respondents feel she should exercise greater authority and demand additional work stations to expedite the recounting process.
Asked if they feel Gecom should use the tabulation of the recount exercise to make a final declaration of the results of the election, 73% said yes, with only 16% saying no and 11% not offering an opinion. The population feel confident would exercise the right decision regarding the recount.
Voters also praise the President and Opposition Leader for agreeing to the recount and their conduct supporting it since it began and for utilizing the service of Mia Mottley to bring about a resolution. They say they have confidence that both leaders will accept the recount figures.