Guyana’s Election Crisis Deepens As Allegations of Fraud Arise

first_imgPresident David Granger and members of the APNU+AFC Coalition (APNU+AFC photo) GEORGETOWN, Guyana – What started off as a very normal and standard electoral process in Guyana, quickly turned into one of the most astounding local elections that the country has had in recent times.On March 2, citizens of the CARICOM state went to the polls to vote for the next governing party: a choice between the ruling  Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change (ANPU-AFC), led by President David Granger and the main opposition, the Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) led by Irfaan Ali.As the polls closed on the night of March 2, the results from the polling regions trickled in slower than usual. Hours turned to days as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) announced that they were having “several hiccups” which halted the counting process in a number of regions.Still, by March 4, two days after the polls had closed, the returning officers in nine of the 10 regions declared official results, with the main opposition party, holding a significant 51,439-vote lead in the elections.Then on Thursday, March 5, the electoral commission made the decision to release unverified results from Region Four, the largest voting region in the country that propelled the ruling party ahead in the vote count, and therefore, winning the elections. Not only was the commission’s move a direct violation of a court injunction, but sparked confusion and allegations of electoral fraud on the part of the ruling party.The announcement of the results was criticized by four groups of international observers and main Western embassies, who said the process did not follow the country’s laws and lacked transparency.In their joint statement on Friday, March 6, the US, British, Canadian and EU officials all said they were worried about alleged electoral fraud influencing the results of the 2 March vote.“We call on President Granger to avoid a transition of government which we believe would be unconstitutional as it would be based on a vote tabulation process that lacked credibility and transparency,” the joint statement said.Despite the commission’s announcement of unverified results, the GECOM has not yet declared a winner of the elections. That did not stop President Granger from celebrating the announcement on Thursday, with his supporters decked out in green, chanting “black power wins again.”Meanwhile, the main opposition party and Guyana’s main private-sector association, which formed part of the observer mission, accused the head of Guyana’s electoral commission of allowing “attempts to perpetuate election fraud.” Opposition leaders say the elections commission altered Region Four’s results to give Mr Granger’s coalition a victory over the opposition PPP. They have denounced the results and say the PPP won the election.US Western Hemisphere affairs official Michael Kozak said “no candidate should declare victory or be sworn in “while serious questions remain about credibility of March 2 elections.” Billions At Stake for Guyana’s Next GovernmentBillions are at stake for the next government of Guyana – the world’s newest petrol state. Production in the offshore oil fields, estimated to contain at least 8bn barrels, began in 2019. Economy experts say that the first proceeds from the oil boom is expected to generate tens of billions of dollars for Guyana this decade.Thus, a disputed election and corrupted start to a new era of economic growth in Guyana could derail the country’s plans to use its newfound oil wealth to spur economic development.Many local politicians have agreed that the confusing elections have been a terrible start to this new era. “This is an embarrassment that this emerging oil giant has to be sitting here at this table now and speaking on the brink of a dictatorship,” said Kian Jabour of a minor opposition party, A New and United Guyana.The government said it expected up to $300m in oil revenues this year alone, which if managed properly, could be largely beneficial for the country of 800,000 residents.last_img read more

Sportech delivers on ‘Ascot World Pool’ project

first_img London-listed racing and wagering systems supplier Sportech Plc has announced that it successfully delivered the new “Ascot World Pool’, completing a ‘commingling project’ undertaken for major racing stakeholders Betfred Totepool, Ascot Racecourse, and Hong Kong Jockey Club.Launched at Royal Ascot 2019, the World Pool is a pari-mutuel betting pool designed to maximize liquidity by combining wagers from global Ascot partners, including on-course tote, Betfred’s UK Totepool and the ‘Royal Ascot Pool’ hosted by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.Sportech’s Racing-&-Digital division powered the development of World Pool, providing the product with its Sportech Quantum operating system, in addition to hosting and operational services from Sportech’s Global Data and Operations Centre.Sportech Chief Technology Officer Raj Sanjanwala said: “The World Pool initiative is indicative of what Sportech does best.  We listen to our client’s ambitions and work closely with their teams to cooperatively deliver a seamless global solution.“In this case, working with world-class partners Betfred Totepool, Ascot Racecourse, and Hong Kong Jockey Club to execute the solution live on the world stage, ultimately delivering a terrific result. Royal Ascot, I suspect, was just the opening chapter of the potential for pools that deliver increased liquidity for our combined worldwide client base.” Related Articles Betfred boosts US racing coverage with XB Net deal renewal August 10, 2020 Betfred extends World Snooker Championship deal until 2022 August 17, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Submit Share Betfred counters Oppenheimer bid in race to rescue Phumelela August 26, 2020last_img read more

Popular Book Sale Expands Its Reach to Further Benefit Homeless

first_imgFacebook69Tweet0Pin0Submitted by the Olympia Unitarian Universalist CongregationHow do you move over 10,000 used books donated from the community to one building for a giant book sale? It takes enthusiastic volunteers and a good cause.  Books, Brownies and Beans is one of the largest one-day used book sales in the South Sound. Now in its 14th, year, this popular used book sale is organized by the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC). Over the years it has raised a total of almost $80,000 to benefit the homeless.“This year we are broadening our efforts in order to contribute to more organizations out there helping the homeless,” said Sally Brennard, of the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation. Past sales benefitted Out of the Woods homeless shelter at the OUUC. This year proceeds from the sale will go to additional organizations, like Sidewalk, Community Youth Services, Quixote Village and Interfaith Works’ overnight shelter and warming center.Books, Brownies and Beans has gained a loyal following of serious and casual book enthusiasts who appreciate the huge selection of books at bargain prices. Books come from every corner of the literary world, from Pulitzer Prize winners to textbooks and everything in between. There is also a café selling a selection of fresh baked brownies, hot beverages, plus other treats. Live music plays throughout the day provided by a talented collection of musicians who rotate through.“The best thing about this sales is how the community comes together to make it happen. We’ve got more than 100 volunteers who collect, sort, and stack the thousands of books that are donated. And of course we’ve got the book lovers who line up early in the morning to buy the books. And the money goes to a great cause. It’s win, win, win,” said Mark Swanson, of the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation.In 2016, during a remodel of the church, the sale was conducted online only. There were concerns among organizers that the missed year would affect the donations and turnout for the following year. “But nope,” said Linda Crabtree, a past organizer. “The next year the whole doggone building was covered with books and people were lined up before our doors even opened – and it was 18°F out!” she added.Books, Brownies and Beans takes place on Saturday, February 25, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 2315 Division St. NW, Olympia, WA 98502. There is no entrance fee and visitors are encouraged to bring their own tote bags.last_img read more