The People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) Prime Ministerial candidate, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips on Wednesday rubbished claims by General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Retired Lt. Col. Joseph Harmon that opposition-aligned polling day officials rendered votes by the police, army and prison service invalid by not stamping them before they were mixed with civilian votes.
“The Joint Services ballots were intermixed and there is no report out of GECOM of all the Joint Services ballots or any of the Joint Services ballots being unstamped and, therefore, rejected,” said Phillips, a former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
He challenged GECOM to issue a statement stating categorically that the Joint Services votes were not jeopardised.
In dismissing claims by APNU that there was massive irregularities that could cause the credibility of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections, he said of the 1,300 boxes of ballots counted, there are less than 4,000 rejected ballots and less than 100 were unstamped.
Harmon earlier this week charged that many of the 8,000-odd Joint Services were jeopardised because PPP-aligned polling day officials ensured they were not stamped before they were mixed with civilian votes to conceal the voting preference of the military, police and prison service personnel. “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,” Harmon has said.
But Phillips called Harmon’s assertions “mischievous” and “irresponsible” for anyone to claim that the Joint Services votes were not counted. “Our hardworking Joint Services, first and foremost, they are citizens of Guyana and they participated in this process and their votes were counted. Their votes represent the will of the people,” he said.
Expressing confidence that the PPP won the general elections held almost three months ago based on its Statements of Poll, Phillips hoped that GECOM would declare the results after the recount.
GECOM Commissioners from both the coalition and opposition side as well as the GECOM spokeswoman, Yolanda Warde have not briefed the media in three straight days. Ward merely said that 93 boxes of ballots were counted on Wednesday.