APNU+AFC asks GECOM to call in police to investigate alleged electoral fraud

Last Updated on Saturday, 6 June 2020, 15:53 by Denis Chabrol

A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) on Saturday suggested that the Elections Commision call in the police to investigate alleged electoral fraud stemming from the absence of documents from 29 boxes of ballots.

At the same time, Amna Ally, on behalf of APNU+AFC election agent Joseph Harmon, told GECOM Chairman Claudette Singh, acknowledged that her coalition was not sure about all of the claims. “Please note the limited ability of our agents to examine each and every ballot prevents us from detecting with any certainty the issue we complain about,” Ally said.

“We continue to call for investigations and action in these matters and since the complaint of fraud is so clear, it is suggested that the Guyana Police Force can help to bring a speedy resolution to the issue,” Ally told Singh.

The coalition also wants the Guyana Elections Commission to set aside and not tabulate those boxes.

Ally asked GECOM to invalidate the ballots in the boxes because there is no way of  reconciling them in the absence of the statutory documents. “In the circumstance, the ballot boxes should be set aside,” Ally said.

According to the letter from the coalition to the GECOM commission’s chair, from the boxes identified; the counterfoils, official list of electors, poll books, unused ballots, used tender ballots, folios, marked lists of electors  and other statutory materials are missing from the respective boxes. “There is no account and/or explanation for the missing statutorily required documents. This means that there is no way for the Commission to verify that the ballots were issued to this polling station. Consequently the validity of any count from thos box is in question,” Ally said in the letter dated June 6, 2020.

The boxes in question were examined at the recount between June 4 and 5 when the missing materials were discovered from the boxes at polling stations located in areas between Ogle and Lusignan.

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander has said the Elections Commission has been asked to investigate the matter after which a decision will be taken.

The PPP maintains that once the ballots are not forged and are stamped, they must be counted even without supporting documents.

But Alexander has said the absence of documents will make it impossible to reconcile the ballots in the box.

Saturday is Day 32 of the national recount of votes cast in the March 2, 2020 polls. 246 boxes were expected to be recounted Saturday.