By Shikema Dey
Six more persons have presented signed oaths of affidavits to refute the information sent by the Immigration Department to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) that they departed Guyana and never returned.
This now amounts to 14 persons who the Immigration Department incorrectly claimed left the country.
On the first list of172 names, Kaieteur News exposed that eight persons were falsely named in the claims made by the APNU+AFC Coalition. Now, another six persons whose names were published on that list have come out to refute those claims.
Kaieteur News received a signed affidavit from Safeek Anand Kumar, listed as #55. The Immigration Department claimed that Kumar, born on March 22, 1976, residing at Zeelugt, East Bank Essequibo, departed Guyana on September 27, 2013 and never returned on/before Election Day. In the affidavit, Kumar swore under oath that he was present in Guyana on March 2 and voted at the Elections on the said date.
An affidavit was also received from Sursattie Ramnarine listed at #54 on the Top Cop’s list. The Immigration Department claimed that Ramnarine, born on September 29, 1981, departed Guyana on June 4, 2019 and never returned on/before Election Day. Ramnarine, of Philadelphia, East Coast Demerara swore that she was present in Guyana on March 2, and voted on Elections on the said date in accordance with the Statutory Declarations Act, Chapter 5:09 of the Laws of Guyana.
Mohammed Sheik Ameer, born on March 26, 1967 was listed as #159. The Immigration Department claimed that he departed Guyana on June 4, 2019 and never returned on/before Election Day. Ameer of Tuschen, East Bank Essequibo, however, presented a signed affidavit as evidence to Kaieteur News, swearing that he was present in Guyana on March 2, and voted on Elections on the said date.
Anna Persaud, born on January 1, 1983 is #62 on the list. The Immigration Department claimed that she departed on August 15, 2016 and never returned on/before Election Day. Persaud of Tuschen East Bank Essequibo, in a signed affidavit swore that she was present in Guyana on March 2, and voted on Elections on the said date.
Roberto Narine, born May 2, 1993 was listed as #70 and the Immigration Department claimed he departed Guyana on May 31, 2015 and never returned on/before Election Day. A signed affidavit was also presented, where he swore under oath that he was present in Guyana on March 2, and voted on Elections on the said date.
Additionally, Ramoutar Akash, born January 10, 1993, was listed as #160. The Immigration Department claimed that he departed Guyana on May 18, 2019 and never returned on/before Election Day. Akash presented a signed affidavit where he swore that he was present in Guyana on March 2, and voted on Elections on the said date.
Five more persons refute second list from Coalition
From the second list of 307 names sent to GECOM by Joseph Harmon, five more persons have come out to say that the claims that they were out of the jurisdiction were false. The allegation being leveled against the APNU+AFC Coalition has now grown to 11.
Kaieteur News made contact with Kimberly Bisnauth, listed as #243. The young woman employed with Caribbean Airlines at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport explained that her friend sent her a screenshot with her name on the list.
She said that she voted on Elections Day with an oath of identity because she does not have an identification card. She cast her ballot at the Soesdyke Secondary School early and made it for work that same day.
“I was shocked because I know I voted early, me and my mother and we came home and I went straight to work,” Bisnauth said. The young woman noted that while she left Guyana on January 10 for the US, she returned in Guyana on January 14, a mere four days later. She provided photos of her passport with the entry stamps from immigration to prove that she returned.
Nizea Bacchus was listed as #272. She, when contacted by Kaieteur News was shocked that her name was listed as having migrated. The woman told this paper: “My sister message me at 7:45 and tell me my name is on the list of persons out of the country. So I go and check and see my name on there as 272.”
According to her, she last left Guyana on October 26, 2019 for Suriname and returned seven days later. Images of her passport sent to Kaieteur News aligns with this story.
Bacchus expressed her disappointment that her name was included in such a claim. The young woman said “I didn’t feel too nice about it because I know I was right in my country and I didn’t go nowhere knowing that elections coming up.”
On the list, Neil Kumari Behari was listed as #212. In an interview with this paper, Mrs. Behari refuted the claim and stated that she was in Guyana, and that she voted on March 2 at the Leonora Primary School. The woman explained that she has never left the country before despite having a passport. That passport, she said, expired and she never got a new one citing that she had nowhere to travel.
Ibraheem Ali, #202 on the list told Kaieteur News that he voted at the Leonora Technical Institute on March 2, the same polling place as People’s Progressive Party Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali. The young man explained that he travelled to Suriname in 2017 and returned home. Images of his passport provided to Kaieteur News shows that he left Guyana on July 8, 2017 and returned on July 28, that same year.
Ali said that passport expired and he never travelled with the new one.
The fifth person, Thelma Dorothy Surajpal was listed as #249. The woman explained to Kaieteur News that she and her husband ventured in the wee hours of March 2, to cast their ballots at the Covent Garden Primary School. The woman was at a loss as to why her name was listed. “I don’t know why, how that be,” she told this paper.
Coalition makes false claim about Retired Superintendent of Police who served on Granger Assassination Plot COI
When ballot #4516 was being recounted yesterday, the APNU+AFC agent Shonelle Smith-Daniels claimed that serial number 183 of Retired Assistant Superintendent of Police, Salena Marshall was out of the jurisdiction on Elections Day and could not have voted.
But this was not so, as the woman was present in Guyana on March 2 and voted at the March 2 polls. Marshall served on the Commission of Inquiry, commissioned by incumbent President David Granger to investigate allegations of a plot to assassinate him.
The APNU+AFC in a press release late last evening sought to refute an allegation that one Alder Bynoe was listed as being in Guyana on March 2.
The party made reference to the list published in this paper, containing 172 names of persons who the Immigration Department claimed was out of the jurisdiction on Elections Day.
That list contained Bynoe’s name but at no point was his name singled out to indicate that he was in the country on March 2.
In a letter penned to the GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, Bynoe said “GECOM registered me as an elector and my name appeared on GECOM’s Official List of Electors for the 2020 General and Regional Elections. Further, I can confirm that I am usually a resident in Guyana, although I was out of the jurisdiction on elections day.”
The Coalition retracted the initial press release and replaced it with a new one. Missing from the new release was the paragraph that referenced Alder Bynoe. Kaieteur News sought to inquire when the same was removed by up to press time, no response was received.
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