By Shikema Dey
The ten district declarations made prior to the National Recount were yesterday cast aside by the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Rt’d Justice Claudette Singh and, consequently, so were the previous final election reports prepared by the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.
With this move taken by the Chair, it means that the winners of the March 2 Elections can only be declared using the figures accumulated at the end of the National Recount and leaves no room for ghost figures to appear as have happened previously.
Those scrapped declarations included the fraudulent District Four declaration made by controversial Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo on the night of March 13. These numbers were being held in abeyance.
Commissioner Sase Gunraj subsequently, after the GECOM meeting yesterday, relayed to the media that, “She [Chair] proceeded to say that the March 13 declaration which included the fraudulent declaration by the Returning Officer of Region Four has been set aside and replaced by the recount tabulation certificates. That, I believe, is an important finding and ruling of the Chairman.”
This was also confirmed by GECOM’s Public Relations Officer in other sections of the media.
The fraudulent declarations for District Four made by Mingo were included in the final election report prepared by Lowenfield on Saturday who defied the Chairwoman’s direct order to prepare his report using the numbers from the recount.
The recount figures places the win with the Opposition with a total of 233,336 valid votes while the Coalition trailed behind with 217,920 valid votes and the remaining 5,214 went to the joiner parties. With the recount numbers, the PPP would be positioned for 33 seats in Parliament, while 31 went to the Coalition and remainder to the joined parties.
The CEO had however, presented three reports with fraud laced figures, each different than the last and no explanation given to account for the changes.
In his first preliminary report on June 13, which contained a summation of the Observation Reports (ORs) from the National Recount, Lowenfield claimed that a total number of 182,260 valid votes were cast – 125,010 went to APNU+AFC and 56,627 went to PPP. In this report, Lowenfield dumped a total of 275,092 valid votes.
He then issued another report on June 23 where he dumped 115,844 votes. Lowenfield claimed that a total of 344,508 votes were cast in the elections with 171,825 votes going to the Coalition and 166,343 votes going to the PPP.
In his latest report, Lowenfield claimed that a total of 475,118 valid votes were cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections and added 14,766 new votes.
On his newest calculation of the votes, the incumbent Coalition got 236,777 valid votes while the Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) attained 229,330 valid votes with 5,090 going to the tri-party joinder: A New And United Guyana (ANUG), The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM). Those figures would give the Coalition the 33 majority seating in Parliament with 31 going the PPP and the remainder to the tri-party joinder.
All of these numbers are now invalid.
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