Jul 12, 2013 News
Attempted manipulations in 2011 elections? …
By Abena Rockcliffe
In an explosive letter published yesterday in this newspaper, Vincent Alexander, a Commissioner of the Guyana Election Commission, has suggested that there was a deliberate attempt to manipulate the results of the 2011 General and Regional elections.
The 2011 elections was a crucial one at which the ruling party, for the first time in 20 years, lost its voting majority in the National Assembly—by one seat.
Stressing repeatedly that the truth must be told, Alexander stated in his letter that former Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Gocool Boodoo’s action, in his preparation and near flawed declaration of the results of the 2011 elections, giving the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) a parliamentary majority, was no mistake.
Immediately after the 2011 elections, Alexander had highlighted a discrepancy in Boodoo’s calculation that had excluded the 25 constituency seats and only taken 40 seats into consideration. Boodoo’s original calculation had given the People’s Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) 33 seats with 48.57 percent of votes, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) 26 and Alliance For Change (AFC) six. However, the “accurate” calculation resulted in the PPP/C being given 32 seats, APNU 26 and AFC seven, giving the opposition the majority in parliament.
Had that not been corrected, PPP/C would have come out of that elections winning it all, including the majority in the National Assembly.
Alexander, who sits as a Commissioner in representation of A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) said that Boodoo was singularly responsible for converting the vote count into seats.
In addition, he stated that “This was not his (Boodoo’s) first exposure to the task. It was his third. There is only one formula for converting the votes into seats. How could it be a mistake if a factor in the formula is changed?”
Further on in the letter, Alexander reiterated that there was no error of calculation. He pointed out that Sixty-five (65) replaced forty (40) in the formula and emphasized that “no calculations were presented to the Commission for scrutiny.”
According to Alexander, signed declarations were presented.
He said, “There was nothing for the naked eye to discern. It was my academic knowledge of the system and my constant explanation of the system to students that equipped me to discern the fraudulent declaration (result).”
Alexander also claimed in the letter that when challenged, Boodoo responded that “he (Boodoo) was right and was presenting the correct results”.
“It required a sustained exchange; reference to the legal provisions that provide for the formula; and my insistence that he had used an incorrect formula that caused Mr Boodoo to resort to the correct and only available formula to recalculate the allocation of seats.”
Alexander noted that Boodoo had already used the same formulation to correctly calculate the allocation of seats for the ten constituencies (regions).
Alexander also said that it had been a pattern of Boodoo’s to treat the Commissioners with contempt with regard to the truth.
Welcomes any refute
After stating “fact” after “fact”, Alexander said he challenges anyone to refute the details he finally revealed. According to him, his decency and professional cloak are the factors that influenced his silence to the public about the issues.
“Enough is enough. I am now cloaked in Good Governance and guided by Openness and Transparency. Let the TRUTH be told. There was no MISTAKE. There was no ERROR. Did the system work? NO!
“Boodoo’s ill had to be cured since it was about to inflict DEATH on the results. It had previously inflicted death in the 2006 elections. In 2006, the mistake was brought to Boodoo‘s and the Commissioners’ attention at a time when it could have been corrected, ask the AFC.
In fact, correction was promised, but alas the knell tolled and GECOM piously said let them seek redress in Court. A court which dismissed the just case on contrived technical grounds. 2011 was an attempt to once again deprive the AFC of a seat, an attempt to beat up on the small party in deference to the PPP/C.”
In concluding, Alexander stated again, “Let the truth be told. The facts are irrefutable. I now await all of the bile, venom and the like as I stand by the truth which must prevail. I can no longer be silent nor be silenced, cost it what it may.”
This instance marks the first that a serving Commissioner has made such revelations.
The Commission comprises one AFC representative, two from APNU and three from the government. GECOM’s Chairman is Dr. Steve Surujbally.
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