With last night’s updated recount numbers projecting a significant lead for the opposition, the APNU+AFC late last evening sent out a press release calling the recount results not credible.
According to this paper’s latest analysis of the numbers coming out of the recount exercise, 84% of ballot boxes have been counted so far, amounting to 369,770 votes for the General Elections. This number is 105,819 votes shy of the current total of votes from the original count, 475,589.
At present, GECOM holds a pair of declarations for each of the 10 regions. Those are being held “in abeyance”.
Commissioners and the Public Relations Officer, Yolanda Ward had said that the declaration coming out of the recount will automatically replace those which are held in abeyance. However, a declaration from the recount will not be produced until all regions have been counted, according to Commissioners and the order for the recount. Before a declaration is made, GECOM has to consider the numerical results alongside the observation statements, which include thousands of claims by APNU+AFC of electoral fraud.
With the People’s Progressive Party currently leading the APNU+AFC coalition by 13,050 votes via recount, this means that the coalition would have to secure 12.3 percent of that 105,819 to catch up to the PPP, with the opposition gaining no more votes. And if the coalition were to emerge as the winner, in keeping with the previous declaration, it would have to also secure the majority of the remaining 87.7 percent or 92,769 to secure the 7,501 lead it enjoyed over the PPP according to the previous declaration.
That lead that the coalition enjoyed in the declarations currently in abeyance came from the 58,826 vote ‘win’ of Region Four, handed to them by the region’s Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo in tabulations that this paper has revealed as being pervasively fraudulent.
As of last night, the disparity between the Mingo-impacted numbers and the recounted numbers was clear. While the difference between the PPP’s current recount vote of 187,549 and the previous total of 229,489 was 41,940 votes, the difference between the APNU+AFC’s current recount vote of 174,499 is 62,491 votes short of the previous total of 236,990.
In a statement published late last night discussing developments at the recount, the coalition put forward its clearest statement yet on how it would treat the final outcome of the recount: “Any results emanating from this process cannot be considered credible because of the high incidence of fraud.”
The party referred to a statement purported to have been made by the PPP/C’s Anil Nandlall, that “once a fraud has been committed, it nullifies or voids the entire process.” The party said that it expects the PPP/C not to shift the goal post and that it will stick to this position.
APNU+AFC representative Aubrey Norton had told media operatives on May 22 that “the process teems with irregularities. From the inception, I said it cannot be considered to be anomalies anymore.”
Norton had said that the many allegations the Coalition is making are enough to prove that “this is a clear case of electoral fraud and rigging.”
He also said “I would say the thing to do is not to run too far ahead of the process. Let the process [run] its course. Once it takes its course, under the order, GECOM has to do its assessment, and let us await the position of GECOM, and then we can take it from there.”
In its most recent statement, the coalition claimed “The APNU+AFC has been exposing evidence of electoral fraud perpetrated on this country by the PPP/C. We will continue to do so during this recount exercise. The recount process has revealed that the election of March 2, 2020 was riddled with fraudulent practices; the dead voted, people out of the jurisdiction voted, many unstamped ballots, missing certificates of employment, missing poll books, ballots cast over and above the number on the OLE and other fraudulent practices.”
Despite this claim, the coalition has not produced any verifiable evidence to prove that there is electoral fraud. The party has presented its unsubstantiated claims as ‘evidence’. In fact, many of the claims the Coalition made have been proven to be false.
The President had had a brief engagement with the press after he visited the recount venue, the Arthur Chung Conference Centre on May 17 last. Moving over to the National Aquatic Centre, the President was asked whether he will accept the results of the recount. In response, President Granger said, “Whatever declaration is made by the Chairman, [Justice Claudette Singh] of the Elections Commission would be regarded as legitimate by the Coalition Government.”
The questions had come at a time when members of the Coalition, Basil Williams and Roysdale Forde had declared the recount to be illegal, and had questioned the legitimacy of the results which would come from it.
Stating emphatically that it was he who had ultimate authority for speaking on behalf of the governing Coalition, Granger said “As President of Guyana and leader of the Government, it is my policy that any declaration coming from the Chairman of GECOM will be accepted by the Government of Guyana.”
Pointed to claims against the credibility of the elections, Granger had said that the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections were conducted in a “free, fair and orderly” manner, and that the question of the credibility of the process is still to be determined.
The President had said that it would be “premature” for pronouncements to be made on whether the March 2 polls were credible and that the recount serves this purpose – “to determine the credibility of the ballots which were cast on the second of March.”
“I would say,” Granger noted, “that the elections were well managed and were orderly. Whether the results are credible is to be determined and that is the job of the Elections Commission.”
While he has committed to accepting “whatever declaration” comes out of GECOM, Granger has completely avoided abiding by or committing to the outcome of the recount.
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