Clairmont Mingo, the Returning Officer (RO) for Region Four – and the man at the centre of manipulating votes of his district’s electoral to favor the governing coalition, APNU+AFC – has been discovered to still be under the employment of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), as disclosed by the GECOM Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward.
During a long awaited briefing with the press yesterday, Ward was keen to highlight that Mingo has been relocated to fill the position as the registration officer at one of GECOM’s Region Five offices.
She noted that she was unaware of the reporting aspects of his office, while adding that, “…as you know we at our respective offices have been complying with the COVID-19 guidelines too, and so the frequency at which staff report at those outlying areas and regions, I will not be able to say.”
Ward could also not say whether the Commission, which is headed by Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh, is moving in the direction of requesting explanations from Mingo regarding his two infamous declarations, dated March 5th and 13th.
Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire had declared Mingo’s first declaration as unlawful on the basis that he did not follow Section 84 of the Representation of the People Act. The Act outlines a process whereby the tabulation of the votes is done in the presence of certain persons required to be there. Subsequent to her decision the Chief Justice George-Wiltshire issued an order for Mingo to return to the legally prescribed procedure for tabulating the votes for the Region.
Mingo’s second declaration, which is marked by what multiple stakeholders have outright labeled “rigging” is currently in abeyance, and with the governing coalition arguing that it should still be used to declare them as victor for the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
So far, this newspaper has verified Mingo’s vote manipulation to have impacted 25 ballot boxes, all coming from polling places on the East Bank of Demerara. The manipulation occurred during the tabulation process when instead of calling out the numbers reflected on the original SOPs at various polling stations, the Returning Officer produced figures that invariably added votes to the Coalition and in many instances subtracted votes from the opposition. Kaieteur News’ analysis of the 25 ballot boxes shows that Mingo’s tabulation subtracted 341 votes from PPP/C, and added 1,214 votes to APNU+AFC. This amounts to a total variance of 1,555 votes from the corresponding statements of poll.
Kaieteur News’ analysis is based on audio recordings, published by The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) Executive Member, Shaz Ally, of Mingo’s General Election numbers being called out during the Kingston tabulation, for 21 ballot boxes, and figures supplied for four ballot boxes by the Head of the Organization of American States (OAS) Observer Mission, Bruce Golding, in the mission’s preliminary report on Guyana’s 2020 Elections to the OAS Permanent Council.
Presidential Candidate of the Liberty & Justice Party (LJP), Lenox Shuman on Sunday called for an investigation to be launched into the conduct of Mingo. During a press briefing Shuman expressed, “Instead of examining the unsubstantiated allegations of the Coalition an investigation should be conducted by the Court on Mingo’s wrongdoings… We have seen in this tabulation centre is that Mingo’s numbers in themselves were completely flawed, inflated. Yet there has been no attempt made to address that issue—the fraudulent declaration by Mr. Mingo. We are curious to know if Madam Chair is going to ask the police to conduct a criminal investigation into the conduct of Mr. Mingo, and whoever else his cohorts may be.”
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