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Guyana fears civil unrest over elections

Regional 03 Apr, 2020 Follow News

Guyana’s PPP supporters believe they should be in power

Guyana’s political situation is still in flux, a month after the general elections. Since the March 2 elections there is still no final result. The process has become mired in controversy over the final tabulation of the votes in the most populous electoral district, which encompasses the capital of Georgetown.

The incumbent A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU-AFC) coalition claimed victory on the back of vote margins from this district, which were thrown out once by the High Court for not following lawful tabulation procedures and then officially announced again following procedures international observers maintain are still not credible. The opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP), which APNU-AFC ousted in 2015 after 23 years in power, and other political parties, claim that transparent final tabulation of results will show that the PPP won.

Public unrest over the contested result has already claimed the life of one young protester. Racist and threatening social media posts have proliferated, and the nation is on tenterhooks over the potential for further violence.

Racist and threatening social media posts have proliferated, and the nation is on tenterhooks over the potential for further violence and what will come of its fragile democracy. Despite an attempt by CARICOM to supervise a full recount of ballots, the process remains incomplete and mired in controversy.

International attention on Guyana has traditionally been non-existent, but that’s changing. In the five years since the first discovery of oil in the offshore Stabroek block, more oil has been discovered in Guyana’s offshore waters than anywhere else in the world. The Exxon-led consortium responsible for these finds recently announced its 16th discovery, which would add to the eight billion barrels already identified.


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