GECOM to gazette election results, names of Coalition MPs today

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THE official results of the May 11 General and Regional Elections will be gazetted today, and with it would be gazetted the names of thirty-three designated Members of Parliament (MPs) representing the A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Administration.

Legal Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Ms. Juanita Barker, made this disclosure when asked by the Guyana Chronicle yesterday.

The officially declared results of the 2015 General and Regional Elections, as well as related disclosures, were supposed to have been gazetted since last Tuesday, according to a legal stipulation. However, this was not done because the political parties elected to be represented in the National Assembly — the APNU+AFC and the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) — had not submitted their lists of designated MPs.
APNU+AFC submitted its list on Monday, but the PPP/C is yet to so do.

Ms. Barker noted that the Commission, at a meeting yesterday, decided to gazette the officially declared results along with the names of the APNU+AFC designated MPs only.
Heading the APNU+AFC list of candidates — the Representative of the List — is Professor Harold Lutchman, a constitutional lawyer and academic; while former president Mr. Donald Ramotar heads the PPP/C list of candidates.

The submission of these names is part of the disclosures that must be made in gazetting the election results, according to Section 99 of the Representation of the People Act. The law states that: “As soon as possible, but no later than 15 days after Election Day, the Commission shall publicly declare the results of the election, and shall cause to be published in the Gazette a notification thereof, specifying the number of votes cast for each list of candidates; the number of rejected ballot papers; the number of seats allocated to each list of candidates; and the names of the persons who, as a result of the election, have become members of the National Assembly.”

Relative to the delay on GECOM’s part, legal provisions also allow the Commission (GECOM) to extend the 15-day deadline, which ended last Tuesday.

Section Five of the Representation of the People Act states that: “Where, under this Act, any act is required to be done not later than a specified number of days before election day, the Commission may, by direction under its hand, if it deems it requisite or desirable so to do, extend the time allowed by reducing the number of days so specified, and the following provisions shall have effect in relation to that power…(c) the Commission shall, as soon as practicable after any exercise of the power, publish in the Gazette a notification thereof, which shall include a brief statement of the reason for, and the effect of, that exercise.”

The current APNU+AFC Administration scored a close victory in the General and Regional Elections with 207,200 votes, while the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) secured 202,694 votes. Given the results of the elections, APNU+AFC secured a representation of 33 MPs in the 65-seat National Assembly, while the PPP/C secured 32 seats.

 
By Vanessa Narine