Harmon demands GECOM pronounce on APNU/AFC’s recount allegations today
…even though not catered for in order or law
ꟷ PPP/C writes Top Cop on veiled threats to GECOM
The Opposition Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) on Thursday expressed its concerns over political control being purportedly exercised over two constitutionally independent bodies; namely, the Guyana Police Force and the Guyana Elections Commission.
The consternation was adumbrated by PPP/C Prime Ministerial Candidate, retired Brigadier Mark Phillips, who on Tuesday responded to an ultimatum that was handed down by A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance for Change (APNU/AFC) Executive member Joseph Harmon.
The APNU+AFC Executive had hours earlier issued an ultimatum to the Commission to respond to its demands by Friday (today), or its members would head down to the ACCC recount venue to demand answers. The Coalition is claiming that, among other things, citizens who migrated or are dead were marked off as having voted on March 2, but has failed to provide proof.
Denouncing the ultimatum issued by Harmon, the PPP/C PM Candidate has since called on the Police Force to recognise that it is an independent body, as is the case with GECOM.
Elaborating the party’s concerns, Phillips noted the timing of the ultimatum —coinciding with the end stage of the recount exercise. “We find it difficult to accept that a political party would want to issue ultimatum” to a constitutional body that enjoys independence of political control from the executive.
Accusing Harmon, a political figurehead in the APNU+AFC camp, of interference, the PPP/C PM Candidate reminded that with the results of the elections imminent, the coalition is again shifting its strategy from frivolous allegations of dead or migrant voters to now issuing ultimatums to the Commission.
He additionally expressed concern over the Police response to what he called demands of a political organization, and has since also pointed to the flawed nature of the list, since many of the claims have since been debunked.
Meanwhile the party has since formally written to the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, requesting an “urgent meeting” on Monday, June 8.
The letter, which was sent by Executive Member Anil Nandlall, stated that the Party’s General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo would be accompanied by a team of party leaders at the meeting to “discuss certain security concerns of public importance”. The letter was dispatched on June 4, three days ahead of the anticipated meeting.
The Top Cop has been under fire recently for releasing what appears to be inaccurate immigration information to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). Police Commissioner James had submitted to GECOM a list of 172 persons the Guyana Police Force claims were not in the country on or before March 2. However, many of those individuals have since come forward to refute the Police Force’s records.
The Top Cop supplied the list to GECOM Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh after she had sent him a list of some 200 names, provided by the APNU/AFC, to verify whether those individuals were out of the jurisdiction on Elections Day, as is being claimed by the Coalition.
After numerous persons came forward to refute the data provided by the Top Cop, the Guyana Police Force issued a statement in an effort to provide clarity. According to the Force: “Migration data produce by the Immigration Department of the Guyana Police Force is generated through its Record system, which includes an Electronic Border Management System. This system, however, does not record persons who travelled illegally.”
The Police Force is therefore saying that these persons would have left Guyana “legally” but returned “illegally”.