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12 Mar 2020 | 08:16 AM UTC

Guyana: Court rules for presidential vote count to resume March 11 /update 3

Guyanese chief justice rules for presidential vote counting to resume on March 11

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GUY

Event

The Guyanese chief justice announced on Wednesday, March 11, that the presidential vote count must resume before an election winner is declared. The ruling follows a High Court decision on Sunday, March 8, which blocked the Elections Commission (EC) from announcing the winner of the March 2 presidential election. Accusations of fraud and electoral misconduct emerged during the election, which resulted in violent protests leaving one person dead and several injured. American diplomatic sources indicate that "the vote tabulation process was fraught with delays, procedural mistakes, and credible accusations of impropriety."

The count is ordered to resume on Thursday, March 12, in order to verify votes at all polling stations. Only then can a winner be proclaimed.

Associated protests cannot be ruled out as the recount gets underway as well as ahead of the results announcement. A heightened security presence is to be expected in the vicinity of any protests and potentially in the vicinity of the High Court.

Context

Bharrat Jagdeo, a leader of the opposition People's Progressive Party (PPP) filed an injunction against the election results claiming that Elections Commission (EC) altered votes in favor of President Granger. PPP supporters have clashed with police, blocked roads, and burned tires since initial election results were released on March 2.

Advice

Individuals in Guyana are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and public demonstrations as a precaution, and obey all instructions issued by the local authorities.