– Coalition demands answer from GECOM on ‘irregularities’
By Shikema Dey
The APNU+AFC Coalition maintains that the information sent by the Immigration Department to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is accurate, even after 24 persons have now emerged with evidence to refute that information.
APNU+AFC campaign manager, Joseph Harmon, yesterday at a press conference, only attended by a lone private media house and broadcast live on the party’s official page, remained resolute that the information on ‘migrant voters’ was of high accuracy.
“We have submitted several lists on migrated voters to GECOM for investigation and the Immigration Department has confirmed 90% of those named on the list,” Harmon said.
Kaieteur News has seen two lists submitted to GECOM by Joseph Harmon, totaling 517. One list submitted on 30 May had 310 persons. There is no evidence that this list, though submitted to the GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh, was forwarded to the Department of Immigration.
A previous list, containing 207 names was submitted on May 21, and forwarded to the Commissioner of Police. A list containing 172 of those names was returned and ‘confirmed’ as being out the country on Elections Day by the Deputy Chief Immigration Officer, Ewart Wray.
In response to Kaieteur News reporting on this, an initial three persons: Andreanna Persaud, Amos Bhola and a 38-year-old woman, came forward debunking the claim that they were out of the jurisdiction. The Police Force had responded, insisting on the accuracy of the information given to GECOM.
Kaieteur News then published a further 11 persons as of yesterday’s edition.
During his press conference, Harmon stated that, “The selective extraction of one or two persons by the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) cannot change the fact that, a vast number of persons who were not in Guyana voted on March 2, 2020.”
Yesterday, however, a further 10 persons, presented evidence to Kaieteur News to refute the allegation that they departed Guyana and never returned, bringing the total to 24.
False claim further debunked
Chaitram Bharat, born on March 23, 1976 is listed as #20 on the Top Cop’s list. The Immigration Department claimed that he departed Guyana on September 13, 2014 and never on/before Elections Day. Bharat presented a signed affidavit to Kaieteur as evidence that he was indeed in Guyana and voted at the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.
In the affidavit certified by Commissioner of Oath of Affidavit, Rudolph G. Williams, Bharat swore that he resides at Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast, that he is a bearer of an identification card and that he voted at the March 2 polls at the CV Nunes Primary School polling station.
Number #78 on the list was Ms. Khaawtie Naipaul. Born on October 17, 1953, the Immigration Department claimed that she departed Guyana on Aug
ust 29, 2019 and never returned on/before Elections Day. In the signed affidavit, Naipaul swore that she resides at Cornelia Ida, West Coast Demerara and that she was present in Guyana on March 2 and voted at the March 2 Elections.
Dhanwantie Singh was listed as #81 on the list. The Immigration Department claimed that Singh, born on March 14, 1977, departed Guyana on February 3, 2018 and never returned on/before Elections Day. In her signed affidavit, Singh swore that she was present in Guyana and voted at the March 2 polls.
Balram Pardasie was listed as #34 on the Top Cop’s list. The Immigration Department claimed that he left Guyana on October 20, 2017 and never returned on/before Elections Day. Pardasie, in his affidavit swore that he was present in Guyana and voted at the March 2 polls.
When contacted, he told Kaieteur News that he was shocked at the news that his name was on a list of migrated persons. According to him, he ventured bright and early to the Parika Community High School to cast his ballot.
Number #36 on the list was Anthony Persaud and in a signed affidavit, he swore that he was present in Guyana on March 2, and cast his ballot at the elections. Persaud told this newspaper that neighbours saw his name on the list and informed him.
“I know I vote on Elections Day, I went to Parika Secondary School and voted so how they saying I ain’t in the country and didn’t vote.” The Immigration Department alleged that Persaud, who was born on May 21, 1984, left Guyana on July 12, 2019 and never returned on/before Elections Day.
“I was the last person that voted at Parika Nursery School,” were the words Zahaid Baksh who was listed as #27. Baksh who was born on November 5, 1998, told Kaieteur News that despite, having a passport, he has never left Guyana.
The Immigration Department claimed that he left the country on May 22, 2017, and never returned on/before Elections Day. In a signed affidavit, Baksh swore that he was in Guyana on March 2 and voted at the Elections.
Mohamed Muntaz Ali, born on May 29, 1963 was listed as #28. Ali told Kaieteur News that his passport expired since 2018 and it was never renewed.
“Me passport expire since 2018 and me never renew it so me never travel anywhere sweetheart. I went Suriname since 2014 and me never go way, so whoever seh I leff, dem gah fuh mad,” he said.
The Immigration Department claimed that he left Guyana on July 1, 2011 and did not return on/before Elections Day. Ali presented Kaieteur News with a signed affidavit where he swore that he was in Guyana on March 2 and cast his ballots. “I vote, I vote, at Hyde Park Village Office around 10 in de morning,” he told this newspaper.
Otis Jaigobin was listed as #33. The Immigration Department claimed that he left Guyana on October 12, 2018 and never returned. Due to his unavailability, Jaigobin’s mother, Taitree Jaigobin signed the affidavit where she swore that he voted at the March 2 polls and was in Guyana on the said date.
Due to the unavailability of Rameshwar Paul, listed as #35, his wife, Maria Lamazon, signed the sworn affidavit, which says that he was in Guyana on March 2, 2020 and voted at the March 2 polls. The Immigration Department claimed that he departed Guyana on April 29, 2010 and never returned.
The tenth person who came forward was Susan Natasha Narine, listed as #93. The Immigration Department claimed that she left Guyana on September 16, 2017 and did not return to Guyana. Narine, however, in a signed affidavit swore that she was in Guyana and voted at the March 2, 2020 elections.
Coalition demands answer from GECOM on irregularities
At his press conference, Harmon presented GECOM with an ultimatum, demanding an answer today on the many allegations of ‘fraud’ that they have brought to the fore.
The Coalition Campaign Manager said that the party has dispatched a total of 11 letters, “on investigations we requested on the irregularities unfolding” at the national recount.
No response was received for those letters, Harmon claimed, thus the ultimatum.
“We will have to get a decision from GECOM on this matter and we are serving notice that we expect a decision by GECOM on these matters by the end of Friday, June 5, 2020 (today). They must say to us how they will treat with these matters, it is very important,” Harmon stated.
Additionally, he said that the party sent five additional letters to GECOM on what he termed as the “fraud that is piling up”. Harmon stressed that the Commission must “with certainty, make its position known on issues that put the credibility of the votes in question.”
Addressing the citizens of Guyana, Harmon said, “You have a right to demand of your Elections Commission answers to questions, raised by your political representatives.”
“We cannot go calmly into the end of a recount,” Harmon said “while your concerns go unanswered and a massive fraudulent operation carried out on your electoral process.”
While Harmon laid blame on PPP elements for “enforcing delay on the pronouncement of the issues” his party raised, no mention was made of the fraud carried out by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo that was uncovered at the ongoing recount.
Mingo, so far, on 34 occasions verified by this paper, deducted votes from the PPP and inflated votes for the APNU+AFC. It was on the basis of this manipulated tabulation that the initial calculation of all valid votes cast saw the Coalition coming out ahead of the PPP, before the recount was initiated.
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