Jun 15, 2020 News
– Doubles down on fraud claims, says will provide report
By Kemol King
President and Chairman of A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) David Granger yesterday hosted a press conference at State House with selected media houses, where he denied that the Coalition colluded to alter the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections. He also doubled down on the Coalition’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud, saying that he will ask the Coalition to provide a report on the claims.
He stated, “the APNU+AFC Coalition, of which I am the Chairman, never colluded with anyone to interfere with the electoral process. We went into the elections like the PPP and other minor parties, and we expected an outcome in our favour. We campaigned very hard. It is certainly the most impressive and impactful campaign that I have ever been involved in. And we were awaiting the results like anyone else.”
He had been pointed, at the time, to the distinct variation between the results of the elections as stated by the district declarations currently “held in abeyance” and the certificates of recount. The difference between the totals was impacted by the stark difference particularly between the Region Four results and the Region Four recount tabulation, and have further confirmed previous verifiable reports by Kaieteur News that the Region Four Tabulation was rigged by Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo to secure a fraudulent victory for APNU+AFC.
Political parties, including the People’s Progressive Party (PPP/C) and A New and United Guyana (ANUG) have accused GECOM of being compromised by a faction working conspiratorially to aid the Coalition. The European Union Electoral Observer Mission, in its report on the Guyana Elections said that GECOM acted in blatant violation of the law. This refers to the Region Four tabulation.
“By failing to take decisive action,” the report notes, “as the electoral process derailed into chaos and illegality, GECOM abdicated its constitutional duty to take all actions necessary to ensure compliance with the law by any of its officials, despite unequivocal powers to remove and exercise disciplinary control over them.”
The President made no mention of Mingo’s fraud, and that may be because he believes, as he said, that the statements of poll showed a general election victory for the APNU+AFC Coalition, and that Mingo’s results confirmed this purported victory. While he said that he did not see the statements of poll himself, Granger was asked why the party has not released its statements of poll, and his response was that he was presented with a tabulation of the results from the statements of poll, which placed the Coalition in the lead.
“What I can say is that the spreadsheet that I was presented with, of the SOPs, indicated quite clearly that the numerical advantage was in favour of APNU+AFC. I cannot, I never saw the SOPs myself but I saw the spreadsheet and I was satisfied the spreadsheets were accurate,” the President stated.
Though the party has, at times, claimed that the statements of poll show it to be the victor in the elections, it has refused to publish those statements of poll. One of its members, Aubrey Norton has said that it is not in the Coalition’s interest to release its statements of poll, and that the party makes no apologies for refusing to publish them.
To date, the President has not acknowledged that the Region Four tabulation which led to the March 5 declaration, and later vitiated by the Chief Justice, was rigged. He had also not acknowledged that the Region Four tabulation which led to the March 13 declaration by Mingo, was rigged.
“If I wasn’t confident in the recount,” he said, “if I felt that there was fraud, that fraud would have been discovered.”
The recount showed a total of 116,941 votes for APNU+AFC and 80,920 votes for PPP/C, as opposed to Mingo’s fraudulent declaration, which handed 136,057 votes to APNU+AFC and 77,231 votes to PPP/C.
In doing so, the Returning Officer had conjured 15,427 more votes than were actually validly cast in the March 2 elections, taking the Region Four total from 202,077 to 217,425.
The revelations of the Region Four recount align with reports from five political parties, who all held that the Returning Officer presented clumsily doctored statements of poll during the tabulation, which inflated the votes for the Coalition, and deflated the votes for the PPP/C.
His manipulation of the results had also resulted in a false national lead being handed to the Coalition.
While the President did not acknowledge Mingo’s fraud, he has doubled down on the allegations of fraud leveled by the Coalition, of ‘migrant voters’ which he said are the “real fraud”.
He said, “I would like to see that at the end of this process that we embrace reform that would allow Guyanese to vote one day and go back to work on the next day and enjoy the results by seeing parties and the individuals that they voted for receive the results that they deserve without the danger of the anomalies and irregularities we have seen. That is the real danger; people who attempted to manipulate the outcome. It is not the Election Commission; it is the people who went about attempting to engage in multiple voting; people who went out collecting ID cards, people who contributed to the bloated results at polling stations. Those are the people trying to engage in fraud.”
Asked whether he has solid proof of these claims, Granger said only that he has received reports from his “supervisors, invigilators and people on the ground.”
Kaieteur News had investigated a list of 172 names sent by the Immigration Department to GECOM, along with a letter claiming that those persons were not in the jurisdiction on Election Day. Twenty-six of those persons have since come forward refuting the placement of their names on that list, and revealing the information to be inaccurate. When this was raised with Commissioner Vincent Alexander, he said that the information would be treated as accurate until those persons formally write to GECOM, providing proof that they were in Guyana on Election Day. It is unclear whether any of those persons have done so. Persons have also come forward to refute additional lists supplied by the Coalition, of persons it claimed were out of the jurisdiction on Elections Day but appear to have voted.
The Coalition also made claims of dead voters and published one death certificate in the State newspaper of Chitnandani Ramdass, a Region Two woman who died on June 5, 2015, who they alleged to have been ticked off as having voted at the March 2020 polls. An official copy of the Maria’s Hall Nursery School OLE, provided by the PPP/C, showed that the woman’s name was not ticked off as having voted. The APNU+AFC also claimed to have in their possession ‘countless’ death certificates, but to date, the party has not published any.
Granger yesterday said that he will ask his Director of Public Information Service to ask the Coalition’s election agents to provide a report.
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