Asinine use of Covid-19 to steal March 2, 2020 elections is international banditry

Dear Editor,
If there is anyone in or outside of Guyana who is still not certain APNU/AFC and GECOM have worked together to thief the March 2, 2020 elections, then that person is someone who is pretending to be blind, deaf and dumb. The news on Friday afternoon that the Ministry of Public Health instructed Timothy Jonas, the Chair of ANUG, not to go to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) until he has been tested and proven negative for COVID-19 is clearly another in the arsenal of devious tricks of APNU/AFC and GECOM to delay the recount and to thief the elections. Stopping The Carter Center is only one way to ensure limited eyes are available.
Jonas is only the first of the undesirables that would be prevented from viewing things at the ACCC by advising them they might be victims of COVID-19. Now people understand also why a few weeks ago the rumours that Jagdeo, Ali and others in the PPP were sick with COVID-19 appeared. Those rumours were to ensure these persons were banned from any recount. It did not work then. It will not work now.
As we still are hopeful The Carter Center would obtain permission to observe the recount, other disgraceful means of limiting the eyes watching GECOM will be introduced. In the meanwhile, they have kept the media far. Only NCN is allowed and NCN is not really the media, it is APNU/AFC. It is used to give the false impression that GECOM permitted live streaming. But NCN only shows what APNU/AFC and GECOM want them to show, nothing else.
The media is allowed only to be present outside of the ACCC compound. GECOM set up a tent on a patch of grass along the canal in front of the ACCC. There was no chair or table, no electricity, no restroom facilities. The media were treated worst than animals. Across the street is the Aquatic Centre. When some of the media decided to use the restrooms there, they were told that only the APNU/AFC people can use that facility.
GECOM dismissed the proposal of using tents in the ACCC compound to accommodate additional counting tables since public health officials advised that persons cannot be accommodated under tents for more than a couple of hours because of the COVID-19 virus. But the same officials have allowed a tent outside of the compound. Does this mean that the COVID-19 virus lives only in the open space within the fence of the ACCC? Clearly, it must mean that because it is safe for media personnel to be there for a period greater than 12 hours every day. It has to mean that because it is safe for the GPHC to establish a patient tent to hold patients continuously for days and weeks if needed.
In the months to follow, Guyana will be cited as one of the countries that used the COVID-19 pandemic for sinister motives. It has politicised the pandemic and has used it effectively to rig and thief an election. APNU/AFC used COVID-19 to block Guyanese coming in from Suriname and Venezuela to vote and from travelling between Regions Two and Three to vote. They used COVID-19 to block observers from coming in for the recount and it is using COVID-19 to limit the pace of counting. Now it is using COVID-19 to ban people they do not want in the recount process. There is more to come.
Clearly, the numbers cannot be changed. As the recount drags on at snail pace, as they try to create as much confusion as they could, the numbers coming out with the Statements of Recount (SoRs) match almost exactly the numbers on the Statements of Poll (SoPs) prepared by GECOM itself and being hidden by both GECOM and APNU/AFC. But Stabroek News printed some of the SoPs weeks ago. The PPP has put all of the GECOM-prepared SoPs that was legally given to them on E-Day on a public website. The SoRs are showing that the published SoPs are authentic. If there are differences, it is because in the recount some of the rejected ballots are shown to be valid ballots and almost all of these are PPP votes. Thus, for some SoRs, the PPP votes are increased by one or two more votes.
For the sceptics, persons who want to be fair, the story is clear now. If APNU/AFC know they won, why would they not want the recount, why would they place so many roadblocks to start the recount, why would they now want to go at snail’s pace? It is because they know the numbers. They knew it since early morning March 3. Even if they were not as efficient as the PPP which knew the results since early morning March 3, as early as the “cock crow”, APNU/AFC knew before most people had their breakfast that morning. They tried at least three times to rig the results, tried thieving the elections in plain sight. They were caught. Now they want to repeat the thieving, but want to do so far from prying eyes.
They have found a convenient weapon – COVID-19. So COVID-19 is keeping the media far away. COVID-19 has kept The Carter Center and other international observers away. COVID-19 is being used to ban people from the centre – Jonas is the test case. Soon others will follow. Other COVID-19 stupidities will emerge as the days go, as the gate begins to close on APNU/AFC, they will use more desperate measures. But thieving this election is not being permitted. This is not just a crime against the Guyanese people, it is international banditry. The time to stop them is now.

Dr Leslie Ramsammy