Last Updated on Sunday, 10 May 2020, 6:35 by Denis Chabrol
Elections Commissioner, Vincent Alexander has brushed aside any suggestions of comparing the results from the national recount of votes in the May 2, 2920 general elections with the controversial declaration made by Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
As the recount proceeds, the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has been posting spreadsheets claiming that Mingo’s declarations were inflated in favour of the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC).
But Alexander said the results from the recount would not be immediately compared to Mingo’s declaration. His methodology is the subject of a contempt case before the Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire.
“Clairmont Mingo’s figures, at this time, or any figures, at this time, any figures from Districts One to Ten are of no import to me,” he said. Alexander restated that those regional declarations have been set aside temporarily and he was concerned about the recount.
International, regional and Caribbean Community (CARICOM) observers had praised GECOM for an incident-free polling day, but had said the tabulation of results for Region Four had tarnished the entire results and should not be used to declare a winner as that government would not be recognised.
So far 153 of the 2,339 ballot boxes have been counted since the exercise began last week Wednesday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
The PPP on Saturday categorically stated, “These numbers are not only showing that APNU+AFC lost the elections but they are also uncovering Mingo’s fraudulent declarations. ”
The pro-coalition Elections Commissioner said “it may be beneficial” to compare all figures and sought to avoid singling out Region/ District Four by saying there had been calls for recounts in other regions. “There were calls for a recount in (Region) Six, a recount in Five. A call for a recount suggests an absence of confidence in the results in a particular district and so I am not going to be dragged into focussing on a district in a situation where there were calls for recounts across the board,” said Alexander, the longest serving Elections Commissioner.
During the past few days, Alexander has been disclosing that the recount has been uncovering a number of discrepancies such as alleged voting in the names of migrants and dead people, and an absence of voters’ lists in a number of ballot boxes.
The PPP’s Executive Member and Attorney-at-Law, Anil Nandlall has repeatedly stressed that the detailed examination of the contents of the box violates the recount provisions of the Representation of the People Act, and that all such concerns should be addressed through an election petition to the court. GECOM has, however, said the recount is being conducted in accordance with Guyana’s constitution and the Election Laws Act.
The PPP favours merely a numerical count of the votes found in the box.