OAS observers are withdrawing from the presidential election in Guyana and raising fairness concerns
GEORGETOWN (Reuters) – The Organization of American States (OAS) has withdrawn its observer mission from the controversial presidential election in Guyana on Friday, raising concerns about the fairness and transparency of the vote count.
Top-class diplomats from the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada left the polling station in Georgetown, Guyana's capital, where the count took place.
The March 2 elections were tarnished by allegations of fraud in favor of President David Granger, who is fighting Irfaan Ali from the opposition People & # 39; s Progressive (NYSE 🙂 party to run the former British colony.
Guyana's chief judge Roxane George had prevented the election commission from declaring an election winner, and decided on Wednesday that the country's largest constituency, known as Region Four, would need to resume voting with independent observers.
The OAS said Region 4 Electoral Officer has kept official poll results from each polling location secret, against court orders, and "believed the allegations that the tabulated numbers do not match the numbers in the voting statements".
Fourth region results, and thus the overall election, "will not be credible and a president sworn in on the basis of these results will not be considered legitimate," said diplomats from the United States, the EU, Canada and the United Kingdom.
The diplomats also raised concerns about "intimidation tactics" against officials who campaigned for a clean count.
The OAS said the opposition's vote count was "completely different" than that reported by Region Four's election manager.
The dispute, in which both parties won, led to violent demonstrations last weekend in which a protester was shot.
The vote will decide who is in power in the first years of an oil boom to change the economy of the poor country, which is characterized by tensions between black Guyanese and Indoguyan people.
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