PPP/Civic declared 2001 poll winner
Elections Commission agreed by consensus

Stabroek News
March 23, 2001

After a tortuous day-long wait, the incumbent PPP/C was this morning declared the winner of the 2001 elections with the Elections Commission agreeing by consensus that the counting of votes was transparent.

The People's Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) garnered a 44,957- vote lead over the People's National Congress REFORM (PNC/R), securing 35 seats in the National Assembly.

The PNC secured 27 seats; the Guyana Action Party/Working People's Alliance (GAP/WPA) secured two seats and the Rise Organise and Rebuild Guyana movement (ROAR) one seat, based on the highest remainder after geographic and national top up seats were awarded. The United Force - which had two seats in the previous Parliament - did not win one this time around.

At a 4.15 am press conference, Elections Commission Chairman, Major General (rtd) Joe Singh assured that the declaration was a consensus position. Earlier yesterday it had been suggested that the Commission was split 4 to 2 on whether to declare the results and this was reported in the first edition of today's Stabroek News as no Commission official had been available to comment. The Commission aside from Singh comprises three PPP/C members and three from the PNC/R.

PNC/R nominee on the commission, Haslyn Parris, told the press briefing at the media centre at the Tower Hotel that the methodology used and the counting of the votes by the various officers were as required by law and the process was transparent and clean.

"There is nothing to suggest that the result announced is not an accurate account (of the votes cast)," Parris said this morning. The three PNC/R nominees and the three PPP/C nominees on the commission were present at the announcing of the final results by acting Chief Election Officer, Gocool Boodoo.

The number of valid votes cast in the general elections was 393,709 of which the PPP/C scooped up 209,031 and the PNC/R 164,074. GAP/WPA captured 9,500 of these votes and ROAR 3,664. The United Force secured 2,892 votes and the Justice for All Party 2,768 - insufficient to have allowed either to secure a seat on the basis of the highest remainder after the geographic and top up seats were apportioned. The Guyana Democratic Party secured 1,338 votes.

The seats allocation, expected to be confirmed later today by the Elections Commission, will see GAP/WPA securing a geographic seat for Region 9 and a national seat on the basis of the second highest remainder.

The PPP/C picks up 11 geographic seats; one each in Regions 1, 2, 5 & 7 two in Regions 3 & 6 and three in Region 4. It secured a total of 35 seats based on its national votes.

The PNC/R on the other hand, secured 13 geographic seats; four in Region 4, two in Region 10 and one each in every other region but nine.

ROAR notched up a seat on the basis of the highest remainder after the geographic seats were assigned.

The number of votes cast represents 89.4% of the registered voters. The number of rejected ballots will be announced later today.

The final results for the elections were declared after the media camped out for six hours at the Elections Commission media centre and four days after the close of polls. The results were first supposed to be available at 4 pm yesterday but this was put back repeatedly. After an exhaustive Commission meeting for most of the day yesterday its members finally gathered this morning to solemnise the results.

With the official declaration, the incumbent, President Bharrat Jagdeo is expected to be sworn in for a full five-year term after serving as head of state from August 1999 after President Janet Jagan stepped down because of ill health.

Yesterday, the Commission was also grappling with complaints from the PNC/R that tallying in Region Three and Four for the parties was incorrect. The PNC/R had also called for a manual verification and this had taken up the bulk of the time yesterday. PNC/R officials could not be reached for comment this morning on the official declaration of the results.