Jagdeo pushes for national recount, not new elections
General and Regional Elections
– calls on APNU/AFC to disclose SoPs
People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo is insisting that there be a recount of the ballots cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections, and not the holding of new elections.
This comment comes after APNU/AFC Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon on Thursday called on political parties to “sit and work out our differences”.
However, at a subsequent press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo pointed out that this is not a dispute over the elections’ results, but the stealing of an entire elections.
“We don’t want another election, because I heard some of them…trying to push that narrative, ‘Oh, why don’t we get together, work together for three or four years, and then go to an election together – a new election?”’ Well, we don’t want new elections; we want the results for these elections to be counted,” he contended.
Just over three weeks ago, Guyanese cast their votes in what was described by international and local observers as an almost smooth polling day process; but there followed several disruptions and delays to the tabulation process in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica). Despite the other nine districts declaring results without any contention, the results for Region Four, the largest voting district in Guyana, have been mired in controversy and “credible allegations” of fraud from most of the parties that contested the elections, and even the observers. They are all pushing for a recount of the votes cast in the region.
In fact, an attempt by the Chairperson of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley, last week to supervise a nation recount, which was requested by caretaker President David Granger and agreed to by Jagdeo, who is also the Leader of the Opposition, had to be abandoned after an injunction was obtained to block the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from moving ahead with the recounting process.
That interim injunction, currently before the court, was secured by APNU/AFC Candidate Ulita Moore.
According to Jagdeo, the caretaker Coalition must have a lot to hide, since it does not want to allow a democratic transition of government.
He alluded to Harmon’s statement made earlier in the day, that the Coalition had nothing to do with the court case filed, although the APNU/AFC Campaign Manager noted that Moore had a “constitutional right” to file the legal proceedings.
Jagdeo has argued that anyone looking at the court case would show Coalition candidates involved in every aspect; that is, the applicant who filed the case and the lawyer representing her interests.
“This [court case] was carefully planned by APNU to sabotage the CARICOM Agreement. They didn’t want the CARICOM Agreement because that would have exposed the corruption and the fraudulent results. So Granger made CARICOM believe that he genuinely wanted to move forward, and then got his people to go and file this case, so then he can use this as an excuse to say, ‘Oh, I wanted to find a solution forward, but it’s not me, it’s the courts’, and so that is, again, very transparent. So, their position where they’re saying [they] have nothing to do with the court case is as hollow as everyone knows,” Jagdeo posited.
Moreover, the PPP General Secretary on Thursday reiterated calls for the Coalition to disclose their statements of poll (SoPs) as was done by his party to show.
Harmon maintained at the media engagement earlier in the day that GECOM is the only body required to submit the statements, which contain information of votes from each polling station.
While the PPP/C have uploaded the SoPs in their possession – some given to them by GECOM and others which they have secured from outside polling stations, where copies were posted by Presiding Officers – Jagdeo noted that the APNU/AFC are instead guarding their copies at Congress Place, Headquarters of the People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR), leading party in the APNU fraction of the Coalition.
“Now, all you have to do is upload them. The best way to guard your SoPs is to put them online, like we did. But they have to physically guard their SoPs; it’s the same SoPs that GECOM has, and that was given to them and given to us. We’ve uploaded ours, they don’t want to release [their copies]. They don’t want GECOM to release their copies, and they expect this country to believe them,” Jagdeo asserted.