PPP demands GECOM release SoPs amid fraudulent declaration by Mingo
The National Recount of votes cast on March 2, 2020, is, daily, exposing Region Four’s Returning Officer’s (RO) declarations as fraudulent and the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) is again calling on the Elections Commission to release its Statements of Polls (SoPs), since its credibility is now at stake.
The Region Four RO, Clairmont Mingo, is being accused of declaring results for the region that are now being proven as inflated in favour of the incumbent A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC).
Over the past few days, there have been several instances where the figures that were released by Mingo did not match the actual numbers of the official Statements of Poll (SoPs) and the Statements of Recount (SoRs). Some of the figures have been inflated by 100 in some instances in favour of the APNU/AFC and in some cases, the numbers for the PPP/C have been reduced.
In light of the this, Presidential Candidate of the PPP/C, Dr Irfaan Ali stated that it is time for the elections body to release its SoPs since the Statements of Recounts (SoRs) that are being generated from the recount have matched the SoPs published by the PPP/C.
“We have our SoPs,” Dr Ali reminded but indicated also that there are also audio recordings of the declarations used by Mingo at various boxes.”
“And then no one would have to point their fingers to any political party, saying ‘how did you get this number or this is your number…It is GECOM who are in possession of the SoPs; they’re in possession of Mingo’s declaration and they’re in possession of the SoRs so far.”
As such, Ali argued, “in the interest of the public, in the interest of transparency, we would love for GECOM to publish these three so that the public can have it and the media can have it,”
According to the PPP/C’s Presidential Candidate, an easy way to find out whether the declaration by Mingo is false is for GECOM to make the documents public so that the citizenry can compare and draw their own conclusions.
Meanwhile, former Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Anil Nandlall has also reiterated calls for GECOM to make these disclosures and pointed out that “the fact that the recount is taking place means that Mingo’s declaration is invalid and will not be accepted.”
“If Mingo’s declaration was valid then why are we doing a recount?” he questioned, highlighting, “We are doing a recount specifically because Mingo’s declaration is not valid.”
Nandlall, who is one of the PPP/C’s party agents in the recount, revealed that on Sunday, a number of inconsistencies between Mingo’s declaration and the figures emanating from the recount arose.
“Today alone, several boxes that were counted vividly illustrated and demonstrated the fraud that Mingo perpetrated in those declarations. Today, in particular, several of the boxes that Mingo dealt with and produced false figures in that spreadsheet were today debunked by the actual ballots that were reckoned and counted. As we go deeper and deeper, everyday Mingo’s fraud is going to be revealed and is being unravelled as the day progresses,” he told media operatives outside the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Nandlall went on to point to the origin of those discrepancies, noting that even though a court challenge over Mingo tabulating the votes without using SoPs was before the court, he never halted the process but opted to have it continue using his incorrect method while the issue was before the court.
The former Attorney General also used the opportunity to raise concerns of continued efforts by APNU/AFC agents to delay the recount by raising unnecessary objections to votes and ballots cast by certain voters on unsubstantiated grounds.
Pointing to what he dubbed as a “ridiculous” attempt on Sunday, Nandlall shared, “An objection was raised by another party when the Pearl Nursery School box was being counted and the serial number of the voter was being objected to and that voter turned out to be David Granger. So, I want the public to know how ridiculous this thing is unfolding.”
Meanwhile, at the end of day five of the recount, 51 boxes were counted, taking the total thus far to 208 ballot boxes out of the 2339 total. This update was provided by GECOM’s Public Relations Officer, Yolanda Ward, who disclosed that the count at the end of Sunday was as follows – Region One, 11 boxes; Region Two, 10 boxes; Region Three, 17 boxes, and Region Four, 13 boxes.
She also indicated that so far, 190 boxes have been tabulated for the General Elections while 180 boxes have been tabulated for the Regional Elections, noting that she anticipates that the gap will close in the coming days.