Granger repeats baseless claims of “fraudulent votes”
…still to file election petition
Leader of the People’s National Congress (PNC), David Granger has continued to criticise the new People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration and again repeated his baseless claims that the certified results that were derived from the National Recount process contained “invalid votes”.
The Granger-led A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) coalition was ousted from office at the March 2 General and Regional Elections, which was certified by all international and local observers as being credible.
For five months after March 2, there were several attempts to alter the results of the elections in its favour. When this failed, the coalition engaged in a relentless effort to discredit the voting process on Elections Day, with false claims of voter fraud.
Granger, in a press release on Friday, repeated those claims even though they were all debunked by the relevant stakeholders.
“The PNC repeats its assertion that fraudulent votes should not have been held to represent the will of the electorate. The inclusion of fraudulent votes in a ‘Declaration’ constitutes a violation of the fundamental principles of democracy. We maintain that the elections commission should have made a ‘Declaration’ based only on valid votes,” the PNC Leader stated.
A National Recount process, which was agreed to by the then President Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, concluded that the recount results were a true reflection of the will of the people and must be the basis in which a final declaration is made.
The recount process confirmed a victory for the PPP/C with in excess of 15,000 votes. However, coalition supporters moved to the courts to nullify the recount process and to block the final declaration.
In spite of agreeing to respect the results of the recount, Granger and his APNU/AFC coalition have conveniently twisted the findings of the Caricom team, repeating claims that the recount process uncovered “grave anomalies, discrepancies and irregularities.”
After months of legal battles, the courts ruled that the recount was valid and the Chief Elections officer, Keith Lowenfield, must use the figures coming out of that process to prepare his final report to submit to GECOM for final declaration.
The PNC has maintained, however, that “the Report ordered by the Court to be presented to the Commission contained significant anomalies and irregularities”.
“The recount was intended to determine both the quantitative and qualitative nature of the votes cast at the General and Regional Elections and to determine “a final credible count”. At the end of the recount, however, it became manifest that the results did not meet the standard for credible elections,” the PNC Leader said in the release on Friday.
“The PNC cannot endorse a flawed Report and will continue its campaign to ensure that the votes of all Guyanese are accurately recorded, tallied and reported,” the release added.
The Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and Caricom had approved the National Recount process.
Granger’s APNU/AFC coalition had indicated on several occasions before that it will file an election petition to contest the results of the elections, but so far no move was made in this regard.
“The PNC will challenge the declared results lawfully,” Granger repeated again on Friday.
On Sunday last, Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette Singh declared the final results of the March 2 polls, paving the way for Dr Irfaan Ali to be sworn as Guyana’s ninth Executive President.
After the new President took the Oath of Office, marking an end to the embattled Granger-led APNU/AFC coalition, the majority of Guyanese felt a great sense of relief.
International powers have praised Guyana for returning to the democratic path and have pledged to work with the new Government to confront the many developmental challenges facing the country.