Chief of OAS Election Observer Mission “partisan”, Jagdeo’s “private house guest”- says Harmon

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2020, 21:23 by Denis Chabrol

A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Wednesday night sought to discredit a the Head of the Organisation of American States’ (OAS) Observer Mission to Guyana’s elections, Bruce Golding as “wholly partisan.”

Golding, backed by results from the Statements of Poll and Statements of Recount that contradict the declaration by Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, charged that he had never before seen a more transparent attempt to alter the result of an election.

APNU+AFC’s Joseph Harmon did not challenge  the statistics themselves, but he pointed out that a full statement has not been made by the Guyana Elections Commission.

Harmon noted that there were “numerous instances of irregularities, discrepancies and anomalies which have been uncovered in the ongoing recount process”, amounting to fraud on the Guyanese people – dead people voting, persons who are not in Guyana voting, unsigned affidavits of identity in boxes.

So far no APNU+AFC official or Elections Commissioner has provided a figure on those alleged instances of fraud.

Instead, Harmon lambasted Golding for being a known ally of People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo.

The APNU+AFC Coalition, he said, views the statement as wholly partisan, biased and lacking credibility.

“Mr. Golding’s statement today is not only exceptionally partisan but it is grossly irresponsible and hostile to the nation and people of Guyana. Mr. Golding’s statement coming from a former CARICOM Head of Government it smacks of gross disrespect for a sovereign state and for the ongoing process which has been supported by CARICOM,” said Harmon.

Harmon charged that Golding is a “close friend and ally” of Jagdeo and has been “Mr. Jagdeo’s private house guest prior to serving as head of the OAS Observer Mission to Guyana.”

Harmon accused Golding of appearing to be an “unabashed co-conspirator of the PPP as they seek to defy the will of the Guyanese people.”

The APNU+AFC Campaign Manager said Golding, in his statement today, ignores the fact that this was a recount agreed to by President David Granger and Mr. Jagdeo.

He said Golding instead focusses on a declaration which had already been ruled on by the court and other documents issued by the PPP.

A little over 300 of the 2,339 boxes are yet to be counted. GECOM hopes to establish five more counting stations in an effort to fast-track the counting of about 70 to 80 boxes per day.

Golding, a former Prime Minister of Jamaica, presented his observations on Wednesday to the OAS’ Permanent Council.

Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the OAS, Riyad Insanally  said, in response to Golding, that, “the electoral process is not yet complete. Once the recount is finalised, the results will be declared in full accordance with the law, paving the way for the swearing in of a President.”

Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassadors to the OAS, Noel Lynch said the regional grouping was interested in ensuring that every vote is counted to ensure democracy is preserved.

He said the attempt to corrupt the outcome of the elections did not occur on March 2, 2020. “We are mindful, Mr. Chairman, that irregularities occurred not in the system by which the Guyanese electorate cast their votes on March 2nd, but in the presentation of the count afterwards,” he said.

He said the recount is likely to take more than the 25 stipulated days. Lynch added that CARICOM had no preferred winner.

Ambassador Lynch made it clear that CARICOM expected the results from the recount would be used to declare a winner. “That is why CARICOM has been engaged, by invitation, in the general elections process in Guyana from the beginning, and why, by consent of all parties, we are scrutinizing the recount of the votes in an effort to see a transparent and credible result, and a legitimate government elected at its end,” he said.