Last Updated on Monday, 29 June 2020, 8:06 by Denis Chabrol
The Prime Ministerial candidate of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP), Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips says he expects the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield to correct his report that after the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) rules on the appeal against the Guyana Court of Appeal decision.
“It’s just a matter of time after the court ruling that the Chair and Commissioners of GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission) will direct Mr. Lowenfield to resubmit a corrected report to that commission in order for the commission to officially make a declaration,” said Phillips, a former Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF).
He said the PPP was confident that a corrected report would show that his party has won by 15 416 votes after the tabulation of 460,352 valid votes.
Lowenfield last week submitted a report to the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh stating that based on guidance from the Guyana Court of Appeal, the “valid and credible” votes are 344,508, resulting in the removal of 115,844 votes.
Phillips made known his party’s position after the General Secretary of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), Joseph Harmon ruled out President David Granger conceding defeat in the face of mounting international calls for him to do so on the basis of the data from the national vote recount.
With the report already in, Harmon suggested that the process towards a declaration was almost irreversible. ““It really comes from a narrative which has been overtaken by time and, in view of a report submitted by the Chief Elections Officer to the Commission showing that Mr. Granger’s coalition, APNU+AFC, with a majority of the valid votes cast after the recount so there you have it, a report in the Elections Commission showing all the valid votes and still people are calling for Mr. Granger to concede. Concede to what? Concede to who? What is he to concede to?,” Harmon said Sunday.
Article 177(2)(b) states that where there are two or more presidential candidates, if more votes are cast in favour of the list in which a person is designated as presidential candidate that in favour of any other list, the presidential candidate shall be deemed to be elected as President and shall be so declared by the Chairman of the Elections Commission acting only in accordance with the advice of the Chief Election Officer after such advice has been tendered to the Elections Commission at a duly summoned meeting.
Phillips reiterated that irregularities, anomalies and observations that were recorded during the recount could be used to file an election petition after GECOM formally declares a result. “GECOM has to make a decision based on the valid votes in the recount process,” he said.
The APNU+Alliance For Change (APNU) has said thousands of votes, especially in Region Four (Demerara -Mahaica) have been infected by alleged impersonation of dead people and people who were overseas on March 2, 2020, absence of voters’ lists, counterfoils, stubs and other material to reconcile the votes cast.