Last Updated on Thursday, 14 May 2020, 13:08 by Denis Chabrol
The governing coalition of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) is Thursday afternoon expected to ask the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) what would be done with instances of alleged fake votes, AFC General Secretary, David Patterson said.
“We are going to ask GECOM how they intend to treat with all the issues we have brought up, all the issues that are recorded every single day- observation reports, statistical anomalies,” he told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News. He said based on the patterns, GECOM should already be contemplating what should be done. The AFC Executive Member expects that GECOM will provide “guidance” and “assurance” that they are addressing the problem.
He declined to give any numbers of how many alleged claims of voting in the names of deceased persons and emigrants, extra votes, and invalidated votes have been uncovered over the past eight days.
Patterson’s position came even as People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Executive Member, Anil Nandlall admitted that his party failed to sufficiently address a section of the gazetted recount order that provides for the Commission to decide whether the Chief Elections Officer should use data from the recount to submit a report to the said commission for declaration of the results. He said that aspect of the negotiations on crafting the order was overtaken by other important issues such as live streaming, auditing and use of cellular phones. “This here may have unfortunately fell through the crack but,as I said, we will cross that bridge when we reach it ” said Nandlall.
Noting that the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections were the fourth he had participated in, Patterson said he was aware of those discrepancies but he said they would only be addressed on Thursday with the Commission based on solid evidence. “Historically, there is no proof and you need to get some…there are now proven individual issues so we couldn’t ask somebody to address things that we couldn’t actually put our finger to,” he said.
Patterson highlighted what is already well-known and emphasised- GECOM’s 10 district declarations are regarded as legal, have not been set aside and have been already used by the Chief Elections Officer to submit a report to GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh. He said those declarations should have been used to determine a winner after which the aggrieved party could file an elections petition. At the same time, he said the agreement between President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo for a recount was not something he would discuss.
Nandlall declined to say whether legal action would be taken if GECOM does not use the recount results to declare the results.
For his part, Patterson continued to display APNU+AFC’s marked continued reluctance to release copies of its Statements of Poll to compare with the Statements of Recount as well as the controversial declarations by Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo.
The PPP continues to boast that the Statements of Recount continue to match the Statements of Poll but not Mingo’s declarations.