Last Updated on Thursday, 7 May 2020, 16:18 by Denis Chabrol
General Secretary of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Bharrat Jagdeo on Thursday called on the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) to file an elections petition to prove that people voted in the names of dead people and overseas-based Guyanese.
He said the coalition was behaving characteristically like a losing party and questioned the logic of wanting to use death certificates and immigration records to prove that they lost. “They can raise all of these issues in an election petition,” he said. “If you have the evidence, provide it later to the court. That is what the law says,” he told a virtual news conference.
Pro-coalition Election Commissioner, Vincent Alexander and APNU+AFC agent, David Patterson have said claims of people voting in the names of deceased amount to between 15 to 20 up to Wednesday. However, Alexander said the issue would be whether they would be sufficient to change the outcome of the polls.
GECOM has said the 10 district/ regional declarations that the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield has already used to compile and submit a report to the GECOM Chairman, Claudette Singh are “legal”. Efforts by the PPP to get the controversial Region Four declaration scrapped have failed.
Well-known APNU/ People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) member, Attorney-at-Law, James Bond has already reasoned that the recount exercise was illegal, the final results should have been declared and any problems should be resolved through an an election petition.
Jagdeo said at a minimum the coalition or the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) should release their Statements of Poll as boxes are counted. He highlighted that so far the recount of boxes in south Georgetown shows that the results are almost identical that those were recorded on the Statements of Poll.
He does not expect that trend to change unless the boxes are tampered. They are being guarded by police and watched by representatives of the political parties at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown where the recount is being conducted for the next 25 or more days.
Maintaining that the PPP won the March 2, 2020 general elections by 17,000 votes, the PPP General Secretary accused the coalition of hatching a “plan to now to delay the process indefinitely so that they can hang on to power for a longer period.” He believed that APNU+AFC was also attempting to create sufficient doubts in the elections so that they could call for fresh elections.
Jagdeo said the coalition would not have challenged the results with the same bloated list if it had won.