Home Top Stories APNU/AFC in orchestrated campaign to discredit and then reject recount process
The Opposition – People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) – said it will today raise with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the matter of repeated ludicrous and unsubstantiated claims being used by agents of the coalition A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC), to not only delay the National Recount exercise underway, but to completely discredit the process in a bid to have the results discarded, whenever it is concluded.
This is according to PPP/C Executive Member, Anil Nandlall, who briefed media operatives on Monday evening at the conclusion of day six of the recount exercise, underway at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Briefing media operatives on his party’s agenda for the meeting with GECOM’s full Commission, the former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs said, “we are going to raise frontally the unsubstantiated allegations which continue to be raised by APNU/AFC without a shred of evidence.”
Calling on GECOM to “deal with the ridiculous allegations that are continuously being made by the APNU/AFC,” Nandlall said this is the party’s position since it was, GECOM that “ran the elections”.
“They had exclusive management and conduct of the elections and they must say to you and to the people of Guyana whether they permitted dead people to vote, whether they permitted migrated people to vote because these allegations continue to be made,”
He suggested that this inherently continues to consume valuable time, detracting from the main purpose of the exercise which is to recount the ballots cast on March 2, last.
APNU/AFC in a press statement on Sunday said that through the work of its agents at the recount exercise, “clear and unmistakable patterns of irregularities, discrepancies and worse have emerged.”
In qualifying its pronouncement, the coalition cited as an example, “countless instances of dead persons being recorded as voting exclusively in PPP strongholds; Countless instances of persons who have long migrated from Guyana and who were not in Guyana on Election Day being recorded as voting.”
Additionally, the coalition made claims ranging from “countless instances of persons who did not uplift their ID cards from GECOM for many years being recorded as voting in PPP stronghold areas but with no corresponding Oaths of Identity being found in the ballot boxes” to “Countless instances of unsigned Oaths of Identity in PPP stronghold areas.”
Speaking with members of the media on Monday evening, however, Nandlall in debunking the allegations said, “it is clear that APNU/AFC, they have an agenda to derail the process.”
According to the PPP recount agent present at ACCC, now that the ballot boxes are being opened “they are realising that the Statements of Recount are matching with Statement of Polls [from Elections Day] and that is consistent with the number of ballots in the boxes; they are realising that their lie that they won the election is being unravelled and uncovered.”
He was at the time referencing initial claims by the APNU/AFC—including in a dossier it submitted to the international community—that it had won the March 2 General and Regional Elections and that the polls had been free, fair and credible.
Citing examples qualifying his party’s position, Nandlall pointed to instances where agents had been making objections in relation to names on the list of electors only to find out that the names being referenced are for persons that did not even vote.
Additionally, he noted, coalition agents refusing to comply with GECOM’s orders to continue opening ballot boxes at 17:00h.
According to Nandlall, APNU/AFC agents on Monday — as they did on the previous day—refused to turn over their party keys to have the containers opened.
This, according to Nandlall, led to GECOM having to cut open the containers in order to access the ballot boxes and have the count continue.
Nandlall’s claims were also corroborated by other party agents in various social media posts denouncing the refusal of the APNU/AFC agents to turn over the keys.
He was adamant that the actions on the part of the agents of the APNU/AFC continue to consume time which should instead be used recounting the ballots cast.
As such, Nandlall posited, “they have an orchestrated plan, that at the end of the day, they will accumulate all these, what they are calling irregularities, and they will use that as a basis not to accept the outcome of the results here.”
He suggested that as long as the process “continues smoothly, fairly and transparently it is moving in one particular direction, that is confirming the accuracy and integrity of the SoPs, once that continues then they would have lost the elections.”
The PPP Executive said, “the people of Guyana at the end of this process will have to face another ordeal of getting them to accept this results and eventually give up Government because they are clearly moving in the direction where they would want to denounce the credibility of this process because it will not suit their political agenda.”
Meanwhile, the PPP in a formal statement to the media on Monday reminded that the coalition leaders are on record congratulating GECOM for an excellent job in holding free and fair elections.
On May 4, President Granger in a public statement described the elections as “free, fair and orderly.”
This, in addition to the fact that “every accredited observer team, both national and international that observed Election Day activities, endorsed it as free and fair.”
According to the PPP, now that recount process is “unravelling the vile fraud perpetrated by Clairmont Mingo in relation to the results” APNU/AFC has since embarked “upon an orchestrated and ludicrous campaign to undermine and discredit Election Day’s activities by concocting a series of reckless and unsubstantiated allegations.”
The party noted that “in their recklessness, they objected to a serial number at Pearl Nursery School and when that serial number was checked on the marked list of electors, it was David Granger’s.”
It was noted too that, other “inconsequential, false and frivolous objections they are making,” include, absence of poll books and persons voting without ID cards among others.
“Now that the recount exercise is revealing the cold hard truth, which is that the APNU/AFC have abysmally lost the elections, they are bawling hysterically that the elections were tainted with irregularities and they are concocting these nonsensical allegations to which reference has been made above.”
According to the PPP, “these allegations, they are insulting the collective intelligence and competence of not only the Presiding Officers, Assistant Presiding Officers but their own polling agents, some of whom were their candidates to the poll – all of whom, were present in Polling Stations throughout the country and who scrutinised the process from beginning to end.”
The Opposition has since called on the electoral body “to diligently rebuff these bizarre allegations as they are being manufactured by the rigging cabal…It must not be the responsibility of Yolanda Ward—GECOM’s Public Relations Officer—alone who should be tasked with this obligation.”
The party has since called on Chairperson of GECOM, Retired Justice Claudette Singh and the Chief Elections Officer, Deputy Chief Elections Officer and Commissioners to “defend the integrity of the elections which they exclusively conducted and managed.”
The party intimated that “there is no doubt that at the end of this process, the people of Guyana will be burdened with the ordeal of getting the rigging cabal to accept the results of the recount and to give up Government.’
As Guyana awaits the results of the elections, Monday, May 11 marked five years since the APNU/AFC have taken Government.