by Zena Henry
The People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPPC) on Friday accused the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of colluding with the A Partnership for National Unity+ Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) coalition to rig the general elections held earlier this month.
Former President Donald Ramotar told the media that enough focus was not placed on the election body and that may have caused the deficiencies experienced.
Ramotar said in relation to local and foreign observers who dubbed the election as free and fair, “Enough focus (was not placed) on the machinery itself and that caused the mistake, in our view of declaring that the election free and fair.” He said the recycling of votes, impersonation of people, ballot box stuffing; the storming of polling stations, creating hostile environments and chasing polling away were among the other rigging tactics.
“But what was new in this election is that the machinery, they have managed to corrupt the machinery itself in this instance,” said Ramotar.
Ramotar’s predecessor, Bharrat Jagdeo, charged that the elections management authority’s behavior and attitude signaled that it was guilty because it was covering up the role it played in allegedly subverting the will of Guyanese at the polls. The PPP has consistently refused to release figures from its own Statements of Poll to prove its claim that it won the May 11, 2015 general and regional elections.
Jagdeo made it clear that “GECOM has been the source of the problem. “We believe it was a sinister motive. It was a plot that is why they refused our legitimate request for a recount.” He added that several letters by the PPP to GECOM requesting a box-by-box declaration of results have been ignored.
Reiterating issues involving the allegations of fake Statement of Polls being found by GECOM, and the party not given the requested recount, Jagdeo said that the country has a “de facto government” born on the basis of fraudulent and questionable grounds and the party will have to determine their relationship to them in Parliament.
Jagdeo said should the inconsistencies found by GECOM be found elsewhere in the world, there would have been an immediate investigation especially, when by the agency’s own figures, the race was so close.
“It’s only when you aggregate; add up the box by box result you can come up with a total and they are refusing now to give us the box by box total because… there is a fear that when we have our SOPs and look at the box by box results they used… that there will be a difference and they will be hard pressed to explain those differences,” the former President opined.
The PPP, which picketed GECOM on Thursday, also plans to hold “intense discussions” with its members on filing an elections petition shortly. The party says it is currently gathering all the evidence to eventually persuade the High Court that the elections were fraudulent and should be declared null and void.
Former ministers and party executives congregated at the Robb Street headquarters Friday before the media, apparently as symbol of their togetherness and a way of dismissing rumours of their “disintegration”.
Jagdeo said that party intends to go across the country to declare the government “de facto” and not reflective of the will of the people. A call for GECOM chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally was reiterated.
The coalition won 207, 200 votes, while the PPP/C won 202, 669. These results gave the coalition 33 seats and the PPPC 32.