Last Updated on Monday, 25 May 2020, 16:43 by Denis Chabrol
A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) on Monday signaled that it was sticking by the 10 declarations by the Returning Officers of the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) because the recount now its 18th day, has been uncovering massive fraud by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), calling into question the credibility of 86,367 votes.
“The declarations made and on record at the Guyana Elections Commission is that the majority of votes cast in the March 2nd, 2020 elections were cast in favour of the list of candidates for the APNU and AFC,” APNU+AFC campaign manager, Joseph Harmon said on his coalition’s Facebook and to the government-controlled National Communications Network (NCN) and Department of Public Information (DPI).
Harmon did not respond to assertions by A New and United Guyana (ANUG) and the PPP that they were the same votes that were cast and counted, except for the questionable tabulation and declaration for Region Four. He also did not respond to the position that GECOM has no other choice but to declare the results from the recount and any aggrieved party needs to file an election petition in the High Court in accordance with Guyana’s constitution.
So far, the tabulations for already certified Regions One and Two have shown marginal differences between the recounts and the declarations by the Returning Officers. The recount of Region Five votes finished on Monday but the official tabulation was not immediately available. Unofficial figures show that APNU+AFC won 14,502 and the PPP 18,326.
The gazetted recount order allows the seven- member Elections Commission, which is split almost evenly along PPP and APNU+AFC lines, to determine whether the Chief Elections Officer should use the data from the recount to submit a report to the commission for the declaration of final results.
The APNU+AFC campaign manager said that a qualitative assessment of 699 boxes shows that an “initial tally” shows that “the votes are nit credible” and instead there were “significant irregularities” such people voting in the names of deceased persons and others who were abroad on polling day. “This goes directly to the credibility of these elections. These unaccounted votes are evidence of a fraudulent attempt to steal the election, suppress the will of the majority of Guyanese people who voted for APNU+AFC,” he said.
Harmon accused the PPP of concocting fake Statements of Poll to bolster its claim that it won the presidential, parliamentary and regional council elections. “The results will put into serious doubt the fictitious statements presented by the PPP and shared with the international community,” he said.
He said evidence of fraud resided in missing poll books, poll books with irregularities, “statistical anomalies” and the refusal to stamp many of the 8,369 ballots cast by police, soldiers and prison service before they were intermixed with votes that were cast by civilians on March, 2020. Harmon said APNU+AFC would insist that all Disciplined Services votes are counted. “It was clear for all to see that the overwhelming majority of the Disciplined Services personnel that they were in support of the AP U+AFC and so it would appear ti me a calculated effort to ensure that those votes which they knew were going to come our way that they were deemed invalid,” said Harmon, a Retired Lt. Col. of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
APNU+AFC called on Guyanese to stay focus on ensuring the validity of each vote to ensure the 2020 polls are credible. People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) Executive Member, Aubrey Norton is already on record as saying that GECOM would have to decide whether the polls were credible.
The GECOM Chairman, Claudette Singh has already invited APNU+AFC to submit evidence mainly in relation to claims that deceased and migrants’ names have been ticked off as having voted, a move that has been rejected by the PPP and ANUG on the grounds of unconstitutionality.
President David Granger, in his address to mark Guyana’s 54th Independence Anniversary, said ,”I urge you, also, to await the declaration of the results of the General and Regional Elections which were held on 2nd March. The Elections Commission, which is the sole authority charged with administering the elections in accordance with our Constitution, has responded in an orderly and lawful manner to the challenges which have arisen.”
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is pledging support to Guyana in several areas including good governance. CARICOM Secretary General, Irwin La Rocque made known the region’s position in a congratulatory message to President David Granger on the occasion of Guyana’s 54th Independence Anniversary. “The Community pledges its support to the people of Guyana and to the country’s efforts in all areas including economic, social and good governance,” La Rocque said.
A three-member CARICOM team is scrutinising the recount of the votes at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.