‘Ballot tampering or incompetence?’ – Jagdeo on PNC’s election results delay

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party (PPP) Dr Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday questioned the reasons for the delay in the elections results of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNC/R).

“It shows incompetence or either tampering of the ballots,” Jagdeo told reporters during a press conference.

The PNC held its 22nd Biennial Congress this weekend and on Sunday, members voted for new leadership. While the results for the positions of leader, chairperson, vice-chair persons and treasurer were promptly revealed, the party has still not declared the members of the Central Executive Committee (CEC).

Returning Officer for the PNC/R internal elections, Vincent Alexander in a statement on Thursday said the count for the CEC members required the examination of approximately 1300 ballots, each bearing 59 candidates, in order to determine the 15 members of the CEC.

“The duration of this exercise, while being quite time consuming has also been influenced by the CARICOM Day holiday and the availability of the unaffiliated ballot attendants, only in the evenings. That notwithstanding, the count will be completed today,” Alexander said.

He promised that the CEC members will be announced on July 5, 2024.

Jagdeo compared the PNC’s inability to produce these results even after four days to his party’s ability to provide elections results within a day after the PPP/C congress. He noted that the PNC/R has approximately 1,000 votes to select 60 Candidates while the PPP/C had 2,459 votes to determine 93 candidates at its Congress held earlier this year.

He argued that “it’s either you’re doing something illegal or you’re unbelievably incompetent.”

The General Secretary also spoke about the allegations of electoral irregularities during the PNC’s Congress.

He noted that while new leaders of the PNC will be tasked with proving that the party has changed, the internal elections again showed that this is not true.

“You have this opportunity to say now that ‘we’re going to change’…But if your competitors are saying you rigged your own internal elections, how will people trust that you will stick to the democratic norm?” he questioned.

The General Secretary of the PPP also spoke of the Alliance For Change (AFC), another party which recently elected its new leaders. He pointed out that the leaders are all “recycled” and are carrying “baggage” from their time in Government from 2015 to 2019.

“Look at what these people did, they brought back all the old leaders from the past and excluded the young people…this is the AFC,” Jagdeo said.

“It is a cabal of recycled leaders who have a lot of baggage,” he added.