Thursday 24 September, 2020

Rowley: Recount an 'attempt to disrupt democratic process'

Pictured: PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley claims PNM victory at August 10 polls. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

Pictured: PNM leader Dr Keith Rowley claims PNM victory at August 10 polls. Photo by Darlisa Ghouralal.

The United National Congress (UNC) has been accused of making deliberate attempts to delegitimise the incoming government following the initial result of the 2020 General Election.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made the assertion during a televised interview on CNC3 on Wednesday morning.

Dr Rowley, who weighed in on the request by the United National Congress (UNC) for recounts in five seats, said the Opposition was trying to disrupt the democratic process to prevent a smooth flow of governance.

“There’s a very dangerous development taking place here. I accept that recounts are the call of the candidate or his agent.”

“What the UNC is doing is to disrupt the process. These are not accidental things. This is a deliberate strategy… so as to prevent a smooth flow of the country’s governance.”

He said the purpose of the “disruption” was to delegitimise PNM’s victory at the polls by “inciting” a level of tension among a particular segment of population.

“What the UNC is doing with this approach where you have a difference of two or three thousand votes and you are calling for a recount, it is to tell them, the population who support them, that they have been cheated – not for the first time.”

He said this was the same approach to the result to the 2015 election.

Dr Rowley noted that the new Cabinet would have been sworn in today, had there not been any recounts.

The UNC has requested recounts in the constituencies of La Horquetta/Talparo, San Fernando West, St Joseph, Toco/Sangre Grande and Tunapuna.

The Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) initially requested a recount in the Tobago East seat but has since conceded.

Recounts began on Tuesday afternoon even as tallies were still being compiled after midgnight polling day.

Initial results put the PNM in the lead with a 22-19 win, representing the loss of the Moruga/Tableland seat it captured at the 2015 polls.

The Elections and Boundaries Commission (EBC) cannot declare the results until all recounts are completed.

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