Last Updated on Thursday, 4 June 2020, 9:20 by Denis Chabrol
As a Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) insists that the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections are not ‘credible” in the face of the People’s Progressive Party’s (PPP) lead in the recount of votes, A New and United Guyana (ANUG) says the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is not geared to accept evidence such as immigration records to settle an electoral dispute.
Of the 369,770 valid votes cast, APNU+AFC won 174,499 and the PPP 187,549. Rejected ballots up to Wednesday totalled 3,400 votes. But APNU+AFC said in a statement Wednesday insisted that the elections were not credible because the dead voted, people out of the jurisdiction voted, many unstamped ballots, missing certificates of employment, missing poll books, ballots cast over and above the number on the OLE and other fraudulent practices. “Any results emanating from this process cannot be considered credible because of the high incidence of fraud,” the coalition said.
The three pro-coalition election commissioners are among the seven, including three from the PPP and the Chairman, Justice Claudette Singh, who would have to decide whether the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield can use the data from the recount to compile a report and send it back to the Commission for certification and declaration of the results.
ANUG Chairman, Timothy Jonas says GECOM has its own internal rules but they do not include accepting evidence such as immigration records that show whether people were in Guyana on election day to cast their ballots. Jonas says such records and affidavits will have to be tested in the Court.
“Right now, we are dealing with bare unsubstantiated allegations is made and a request for evidence is made; not giving you the evidence… and the response by Mr. James (Police Commissioner) has already been discredited,” Jonas said. The Police Commissioner has since responded to many challenges by people who insisted that they were in Guyana on polling day.
Jonas said the only material that GECOM could rely on was its own that shows that voters were in Guyana and cast their ballots. He disagreed that the law allows GECOM to remove the the names of people from the voters’ list as they ought to be able to return to cast their ballots.
The ANUG Chairman believes that either of the two major political parties would “try to go to court” before the election results are declared. “I don’t see it happening successfully because the courts have been very clear. GECOM has an obligation to do its job and declare a winner and this kind of evidence, this kind of information, this kind of allegation- the Chief Justice said it very clearly is material for the election petition after the declaration so I don’t see it will have success,” he said. He said the Guyana Constitution does not provide allow GECOM not to declare a winner on its own record.
Jonas explained that affidavits would have to be provided to courts and the deponents would have to be cross-examined.
Up to Wednesday afternoon, 371 boxes of ballots were yet to be counted.
Meanwhile, PPP, APNU+AFC political representatives and their election commissioners have not briefed the media for several days now. A PPP representative told News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM/ Demerara Waves Online News that his party has decided not to speak with the media until the recount is over.