PPP/Civic emerges as unofficial poll winner
Projected to get at least 34 seats, PNC/R 27 seats

Stabroek News
March 22, 2001

The incumbent PPP/Civic (PPP/C) yesterday emerged as the unofficial winner of the 2001 poll and it was projected to get at least 34 seats in the 65-house assembly with the main opposition PNC REFORM expected to pick up at least 27.

Of the four remaining seats, GAP/WPA was assured of one and could be in the running for another together with ROAR and TUF.

With votes in for all of the regions except 33 boxes for Region Four, the PPP/C garnered 52.6% of the valid votes cast and the PNC REFORM (PNC/R) had captured 42.2% of the votes. This would represent an improvement for the PNC/R which gained 40.5% of the votes in 1997 and a reduction for the PPP/C which notched up 55.3% in that year.

Of the 386,762 votes tallied, the PPP/C carted off 203,269 and the PNC/R 163,154. In 1997, the PPP/C racked up 220,667 votes while the PNC/R's tally was 161,901.

The PNC/R has asked for a reconciliation of votes in Region Three and Four and this is being done by the Elections Commission. (See story on page 3.)

Chief Election Officer (ag), Gocool Boodoo, last evening said at a press conference at the commission's media centre at the Hotel Tower that he was not the one to declare the unofficial victor of the elections but the Elections Commission.

Elections Commission Chairman, Major General (rtd) Joe Singh, is today expected to make the final results available, declare the winner of the poll and announce the date and time for the swearing in of the new president who is expected to be the PPP/C's top candidate and incumbent, President Bharrat Jagdeo.

Based on the preliminary results, the PPP/C is set to secure 34 seats in the National Assembly, the PNC/R 27, the Guyana Action Party/Working People's Alliance (GAP/WPA) possibly two and the Rise, Organise and Rebuild Guyana movement (ROAR) and The United Force (TUF) possibly one. The PNC/R could also be in the running for one of these seats. These allocations would depend on which parties had the highest number of votes remaining after the apportioning of the geographic and national top-up seats.

Boodoo last evening stressed that it was not the counting of ballots which delayed the announcing of the election results but rather the verification process. He stated that results came in by phone, faxes and other means and these had to be verified before being made public.

He said for the official results to be released today, they will have to be checked against the statements of poll for the 1,889 polling stations and he is in possession of signed declarations of the returning officers for the ten regions. The vote counts have also been manually verified by the ten returning officers.

The process of verifying the results was witnessed by designated staff members of the Elections Commission and international observers and Boodoo said he was not aware of anyone questioning the process. He was not in a position to say how many spoilt votes there were.

Last Monday's general elections saw a high turnout at the polls and it is anticipated that there was close to a 93% response.

The elections were declared a success by the commission on March 20 and international and local observers in preliminary observations have said that the process went well.