With just a matter of days left before the National Recount is completed and the final results are announced, the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition continues to push the false narrative that there was “massive voter fraud” on E-Day, and has demanded that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) respond by Friday, June 6, on how it intends to address the claims.
The Recount Order outlines clearly how the Commission should proceed in relation to the conduct of the recount exercise, up to the point of the declaration of the final results.
Coalition Campaign Manager Joe Harmon, in a brief video presentation on Thursday, again raised a number of allegations in relation to deceased and migrated persons “voting”, all of which have proven to be false.
“APNU/AFC delivered letters to GECOM on investigations being requested of irregularities which occurred on Elections Day. There has been no direct response by the Elections Commission to these letters,” Harmon disclosed. “We will have to get a decision from GECOM on this matter, and we are serving notice that we expect a decision by GECOM on these matters by the end of Friday… They must say to us how they will treat these matters,” Harmon told viewers.
“You have a right to know what happened to your votes, and why persons who were not entitled to vote voted in the elections,” the top Coalition official added.
Legal minds have argued that GECOM cannot probe its own conduct. Matters in relation to alleged voter irregularities are for the court to deal with via an elections petition; and this could only be done after the results of the elections have been declared.
Over the past few days, various political stakeholders have found that many of the persons whom the APNU/AFC claimed were out of the jurisdiction but voted were in fact present in Guyana at the time of voting.
Several of these persons have since come forward to debunk the APNU/AFC claims, stories of which, have since been published by Inews.
The continual stream of allegations of electoral fraud is contrary to the position taken by caretaker President David Granger, who told the media the day after the polls that the elections were “free, fair and orderly.”
The credible and transparent conduct of the elections was also reinforced by GECOM Chairperson Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh; all the accredited observer groups: OAS, Commonwealth, EU, Caricom, Carter Center, PSC; and by the diplomatic community. Stakeholders have agreed that while polling day activities were generally smooth and free and fair, tabulation of the District Four results landed the country into much controversy.
Barbados Ambassador to the OAS, Noel Lynch, had confirmed this during his report to the OAS Council, saying: “Irregularities occurred, not in the system by which the Guyanese electorate cast their votes on March 2nd, but in the presentation of the count afterwards”.
International and local observers had stated that it was very difficult for irregularities to occur during voting, considering all the fool-proof systems that were in place to prevent same from happening. This is in addition to the presence of the various party agents, observers, and GECOM staff at each polling station.
As at Wednesday evening, based on the recount results, the PPP/C is leading with 187,519 votes in the General Elections, while the incumbent APNU/AFC trails with just about 174,000 votes recounted in its favour.
The exercise will have to conclude by June 13, after which GECOM would have three days to declare a final result for the elections.