Guyana Election System Has “Cancer”, “Needs Chemotherapy” Say PPP/C Politicians.

Photo by Dinesh Chandrapal on Unsplash. Guyana has many rivers, but now it has oil too.
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Georgetown, Guyana–The five months following the March 2 General and Regional Elections was a clear indication that there needs to have a total revamp of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).

This view was shared by economist and member of the People’s Progressive Party/Civic, Mr. Peter Ramsaroop, The New Movement (TNM) presidential candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon and Mr. Rawle Aaron, Executive Member of the United Republican Party (URP).

During a recent interview on the National Communications Network (NCN), the trio discussed the March 2 polls and the issues which followed.

The agonizing five months began when District 4 Returning Officer, Mr. Clairmont Mingo issued false declarations for Region 4 which have been proven to be inflated in favor of the former administration.  Some of the figures had been inflated in some instances in favor of the APNU/AFC and in some cases, the numbers for the PPP/C have been reduced, states a Guyana government press release.

TMN presidential candidate, Dr. Asha Kissoon alluded the situation to one which is cancerous to the country which had stymied democracy and the democratic process.

“Medically speaking when there is cancer, we need to take it out by doing chemotherapy and that is what we need to do to GECOM…there needs to be a proper screening of people to put in and start fresh. There are five years until another election, let’s get it done now.”

Dr. Kissoon suggested that each of the country’s political parties should be represented at GECOM and not just the two major political players.

URP Executive, Rawle Aaron echoed similar sentiments noting that the country should not have to ensure what they did over the last five months where its people were held hostage by a group of people intent on committing fraud.

“As such, we must have effective electoral reform,” he said.

Mr. Ramsaroop added that even though GECOM is an independent body, it is still tied to legislation.

“In Parliament, that’s where the laws have to be reviewed and the constitutional direction in how GECOM is constituted and this must be done during the 12th Parliament and during that session, you will find the changes that need to happen,” Ramsaroop opined. Over the last five months, the will of the people was constantly denied as GECOM continuously, particularly the Chief Elections Officer failed to produce legitimate declarations for the March 2 polls which showed the PPP/C as the clear winner.


The elections of March 2nd, 2020 were expected to be one of the most significant since Guyanese independence in 1966 because of one of the largest new discoveries of oil in the world off the coast of the impoverished South American country.

According to ExxonMobil, Guyana could be producing 750,000 barrels of oil per day within five years, and the expected revenue from this oil would dwarf Guyana’s previous US$3 billion GDP and transform its development possibilities.

Nine parties contested the elections for the presidency and for the 65 seats in the National Assembly. Although election day and the initial count was deemed to be free, fair and credible, the process of tabulating the votes was widely seen to have been fraudulent.

The final region to declare gave a significant boost to the ruling APNUAFC alliance, allowing it to overtake the main opposition party, the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C).

Bruce Golding, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica, who was present during the elections, stated he had “never seen a more transparent attempt to alter the result of an election”. 

Attempts to swear David A. Granger back in as president were thwarted when an injunction was granted on 6 March by the High Court to block the declaration of the overall results of the elections until the matter could be heard and determined.

Granger subsequently agreed to a recount, which was completed on 8 June. The recount showed that the PPP/C party won the most votes, with a bare majority of one seat.

Thereafter, several more legal challenges were launched in an attempt to nullify the results of the recount and even to prevent tens of thousands of cast ballots from being registered as valid.

However, on 2 August 2020, several days after the Court of Appeal ruled that the results of the recount be utilized as the official results of the election, PPP leader Irfaan Ali was ultimately sworn in as president, with Mark Phillips as Prime Minister.

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