Region 4 recount proves Mingo is the only fraudster – Timothy Jonas
The only fraudulent acts or anomalies that have so far been uncovered in the March 2, General and Regional Elections occurred in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), in the figures presented by Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo; and the litany of other objections being raised by the Coalition Government on a daily basis can largely be explained as human error.
This is the conclusion of the Chairman of A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Attorney-at-Law Timothy Jonas, who on Friday rejoined the recount activity after having undergone a COVID-19 test subsequent to his reportedly displaying respiratory symptoms at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre.
The outspoken attorney sought to clear the obfuscation which he said has been emanating from political circles on a daily basis. Lamenting what he termed a ‘spin’ being put on the narratives emanating from the recount process, Jonas told media operatives, “So far, the only anomalies that have come up have come up in Region Four.”
Prefacing his position, Jonas noted that at the end of Election Day, the Presiding Officers from across the country had tabulated Statements of Poll (SORs); and now, more than two weeks into this recounting exercise, the Statements of Recount (SoRs) being generated are matching those SORs almost identically.
This he reported to be the case for the ballot boxes that have been recounted for Regions One (Barima-Waini) and Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
“I know that a lot of spin doctors have been spinning (conflicting) issues and confusing things, but there is a very simple truth to this thing: so far, the only anomalies that have come up have come up in Region Four,” Jonas declared.
The ANUG Chairman told reporters that what is being uncovered thus far in the recount process is that the SOPs are in fact matching the SORs, and “the only variable that is coming out is Mr Mingo’s declaration.”
According to Jonas, the recount process is illustrating, as an example, where an SoP gave APNU/AFC 83 votes at a polling place in Region Four, this is being confirmed by a recount of the ballot box. The figures that can be heard emanating from the Mingo declaration, however, would inflate that number by as much as 100.
He adamantly held to the position that the only fraud that occurred during the electoral process was what had taken place at the Ashmin’s Building on High Street, and then again at the GECOM Headquarters, with both incidents involving Mingo “when he read from his spreadsheet the numbers which did not reflect the numbers which existed on the SOPs for those places of poll. That is the only variable.”
Taking this into consideration, the attorney observed that at the time the original declaration had been given, “and Mr Mingo read his report, APNU said, ‘We won these elections, and we are satisfied with how counting of these ballots was done’.”
Reminding that the recount exercise was just an activity that is ascertaining the ballots cast, he said it would mean that “if there were dead people putting Xs on the ballots in the first place, is those same ballots we counting that got the dead people Xs; the same ballot we are now counting that APNU was happy to accept a victory (from) when Mingo counted them.”
He outlined that what is different this time around is that the count is being done transparently, and “APNU don’t want to see the results of that box, and APNU are now introducing questions which have nothing to do with how many pieces of paper were in the box.”
The attorney was adamant that the only difference in the results being shown from two counts of the same box is that the figures by Mingo were inflated, and not in keeping with the existing figures on the SOPs.
To date, GECOM is yet to release the SOPs in its possession, despite a formal demand having been made by Opposition Commissioners.
As he expanded on his observations at the ACCC venue, Jonas noted that what is being peddled in the public domain by the coalition as anomalies are in fact simply just the records of an APNU+AFC counting agent placing on record his/her belief that at a particular time or place, someone was out of the country, or dead.
He was adamant that there has not been a shred of evidence produced by the APNU/AFC to support the anomalies “presented to the Commission in this regard”.
Further, the attorney suggested that the insinuations were not, in fact, relevant to a recount of the pieces of paper already sealed in the ballot boxes, which are being used in order to determine if the same numbers were arrived at on election day.
Addressing objections being raised by APNU+AFC in relation to unstamped ballots, Jonas was candid in stating that there was a public awareness exercise mounted by GECOM to inform the public not to accept an unstamped ballot.
He dismissed allegations of patterns emerging, but conceded that anomalies exist in every election, citing as example instances in which individuals would in fact mark their X in incorrect places, or even vote for every part altogether.
Jonas observed there were instances when ballots were marked with a tick instead of the widely publicised X, and he said that electors had even placed their mark on the logo of the party of their choice. These, he concluded, did not demonstrate a pattern of intent to defraud an electoral process.
According to Jonas, there is, as part of the system, a screening process during the counting process that does remove votes that are unstamped or rejected. “So this is not a pattern or anomaly; this is something that occurs every time,” he said
These, he directed, are accounted for on the SOPs.