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PPP provided no concrete evidence to alter Election result; Alexander says Court is only recourse

Vincent Alexander

Guyana Elections Commissioner (GECOM) for the A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Vincent Alexander has refuted claims of irregularities in the tabulation of the 2015 General and Regional Elections results by the defeated People’s Progressive Party (PPP).

Alexander, in a letter to the press, addressed allegations made by fellow Commissioners; Mahmood Shaw, Arun Mangar and Sase Gunraj, on the PPP side saying that the party provided “no concrete” evidence that discredited GECOM’s Statement of Polls and further warranted the party’s plea for a country-wide recount of votes.

Alexander after relating the GECOM process following the voting period explained that the PPP questioned approximately 34 statements in District 4, “but in no instance presented original statements of poll as the basis for their contention. They presented a spread sheet, which purportedly reflected the statements of poll in the PPP/C’s possession.”

Alexander said that the PPP was requested to produce evidence to suffice their contention, but failure to do so left the Returning Officer with no choice to make their declaration, “since the (PPP) objection was not based on concrete evidence.”

Alexander explained that Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield was the one to discover “corrupted/fake SOPs,” although they had passed through three different sets of officials before they got to him.

“The CEO discovered documents that were not original documents. He also observed a disparity with the results on those documents as well as he observed some statements on which the votes cast were in excess of the divisional electoral rolls. To his credit, the CEO brought this discovery to the attention of the Commission where it was decided that a two-pronged approach was to be used in the circumstances.”

Alexander said that, “On the one hand, it was decided that he would abandon the use of statements of poll that were directed to him through Logistics, Commissioners and IT, in that sequence, and that he would resort to using the information from the ROs, which information would have been subjected to stakeholder scrutiny, primarily that of the political parties, for the purpose of determining the results. It was also agreed that the CEO would investigate the apparent corrupting of the system but not at the expense of delaying the production of credible results. It is on that basis that the CEO produced credible results that I and others felt comfortable with and approved,” Alexander explained.

Alexander claimed however that the PPP had requested partial recounts in 4 districts, “Even before the CEO made his revelation about corrupted statements.” Those recounts were done in the presence of stakeholders, including the PPP/C’s representatives and no differences with the recorded results were found, he said.

“Subsequent requests for recounts, throughout the country, were denied on the ground that the verification process did not reveal any basis for such recounts, generally, and in the case of District 4, where objections were made, there were no evidential documents produced to justify the objections.”

Alexander advised that, “… any contestant has only one recourse at this time, which is to the court.”

The PPP has used the finding of false SOPs, the unheeded requests for a vote recount and “on-the-ground irregularities” on Voting Day to discredit GECOM’s election results and deem the current Coalition a “de facto” government.

The PPP is adamant that the 2015 elections were rigged and says the International Community who dubbed the process free and fair, were duped. The party has refused to partake in events involving the current government, even abandoning the May 26 Independence Day celebration.

The party says it is still to determine its attitude toward the new government, especially when seated in the National Assembly slated to reopen in a matter of days. The party is gathering evidence to take their case to the Courts.