Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 June 2022, 16:45 by Denis Chabrol
Vice President Bharrat Jagdeo on Tuesday said his governing People’s Progressive Party ((PPP) has “nothing to fear” from a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the March 2020 General and regional elections.
“We believe the Commission of Inquiry will find that (A Partnership for National Unity) sought to steal the election,” he said ahead of President Irfaan Ali’s announcement of the Commissioners of Inquiry at 5:30 PM Tuesday.
Mr. Jagdeo said Opposition Leader Aubrey Norton would be subpoenaed to submit the opposition A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change’s (APNU+AFC) Statements of Poll and AFC Leader Khemraj Ramjattan would be ordered to prove that Russian agents had been in Guyana to help fix the election results.
APNU+AFC has charged that the PPP rigged elections especially on the East Coast Demerara where documents were missing from tens of ballot boxes.
On the other hand, the PPP is relying on alleged efforts by the then Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo and then Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield to declare results to tip the result in favour of APNU+AFC..
Key Western Nations and major regional and international organisations had urged that a recount of all votes cast be done and the results be used to declare a winner.
After legal action that had challenged the use of the recount, the Caribbean Court of Justice had ruled in favour and that the recounted votes, on the face of it, must be used. That regional court had also ruled that if there are any concerns, the results could be challenged through an election petition.
The Vice President said the State would not be asking that the electoral fraud charges against Messrs. Mingo, Lowenfield, then Deputy Chief Election Officer Roxanne Myers, two other GECOM officials, and senior People’s National Congress Reform member Volda Lawrence be dropped to make way for the Commission of Inquiry.
There are also two pending opposition election petition cases before the Caribbean Court of Justice.
The Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission. Retired Justice Claudette Singh has turned down a request by the opposition-nominated Commissioners for an internal review of the 2020 elections