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GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer says 185,000 of 460,000 votes not tainted by impersonation, other irregularites

Last Updated on Saturday, 13 June 2020, 22:24 by Denis Chabrol

Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission, Keith Lowenfield.

The report by the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield indicates that votes not affected by anomalies/irregularities and voter impersonation amount to  185,302 votes.

If Lowenfield’s figures are accepted by the seven-member commission, it would mean the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) would get  56,627 votes and A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) will get 125,010 and the remainder going to several small parties.

This in stark contrast to the recount that shows that of the 460,352 valid votes cast, APNU+AFC got 217,920 and the PPP 233,336.

The three ‘joinder’ parties- A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM) got a total of 5,214‬ votes, but Lowenfield’s extraction of votes not affected gives the trio a total of 1,650. LJP got no votes in Regions One and Four in the CEO’s figures.

In the Lowenfield calculations, APNU+AFC will get more votes but will only control five of the 10 regional administration councils, including the PPP’s traditional strongholds of Region Five (Mahaica-West Berbice) and Region Six (East Berbice- Corentyne). The other five will go to the PPP.

The actual figures from the recount hand the PPPC majorities in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, and 9, while the Lowenfield figures give a majority to the PPP in Regions 1 (Barima-Waini), 2 (Pomeroon-Supenaam) , 3 (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara) 8 (Potaro-Siparuni) and 9 (Upper Takatu / Upper Essequibo), and APNU+AFC in Regions 4 (Demerara-Mahaica), 5 (Mahaica-West Berbice), 6 (East Berbice-Corentyne) ,7 (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice).

The Chief Elections Officer’s shelling off of 275,050 votes is very close to APNU+AFC’s claim that the validity of  257,173 votes have been affected. The 275,050 votes  that the Chief Elections Officer extracted includes 133,686 for  impersonation for which he largely depended on immigration records and death certificates. “In respect of the allegations of voter impersonation, responses from the Chief Immigration Officer and review of the General Registrar’s Office deceased reports confirmed that these were of substance,” Lowenfield said. He said, “although it cannot be ascertained who perpetrated the acts of of voter impersonation, evidence points to its impact on each list of candidates,” he added.

The highest number of impersonations recorded in the Chief Elections Officer’s report were in Region Two (14,715) , Region Three (44,225), Region Five  (14,035) and Region Six (47,265).

Meanwhile, the PPP in a statement, accused the Chief Elections Officer of violating the order as he was not required by the Recount Order to make any conclusions.  Undoubtedly, in one swipe, Lowenfield has acted ultra vires, in excess of and without authority, in violation of natural justice, in abrogation of the separation of powers doctrine, unlawfully, unconstitutionally and the pronouncements that he has made are certainly null, void and of no effect.

That his pronouncements and tabulations bear a striking resemblance to the contentions and calculations of the APNU+AFC have not gone unnoticed. He would make an excellent witness for the APNU+AFC at the trial of an Election Petition” that party said.

The PPP said  the Chief Elections Officer has indicted his own elections and blamed the thousands of Guyanese who worked diligently to  conduct the general and regional elections that cost GYD$8 billion.

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