City Chamber says no basis for Coalition’s claims of voter fraud

APNU/AFC’s Campaign Manager has been at the forefront of pushing the false narrative that there were irregularities on polling day

The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has said there is no basis for the claims made by the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC): that dead and migrated people voted, since no political parties and no observers were not given a chance to check whether ballots were issued for these alleged voters.

This is contained in the GCCI’s Summary Statement of Recount Report, which was released on Sunday. According to the Chamber, their efforts to verify APNU/AFC’s claims of voter fraud were blocked by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) agents; and that makes these allegations questionable.

“The objections made by APNU+AFC agents that, based on the ‘fieldwork of the APNU’, the voters had fraudulently impersonated someone who had either died or migrated, the GCCI’s Observers initially asked to visually confirm that the serial numbers listed as being ticked were in fact ticked, but this request was denied,” GCCI stated.

“Therefore, the GCCI cannot confirm that the serial numbers listed as ticked indeed were ticked. In fact, none of the political parties visually confirmed which serial numbers were ticked and which serial numbers were not ticked; therefore, this information is questionable, and cannot be used to form any opinion without further investigation.”

In general, GCCI noted that the recount was done in a professional manner. In addition, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Observation Team, as well as representatives from the Organization of American States (OAS), were present at various work stations. In observing the recount, GCCI identified what they looked for.

“Observers looked for compliance with the established legal provisions and GECOM’s policy decisions. The Observers also looked for professionalism, efficiency, courtesy, alacrity, inclusivity, accountability, transparency and credibility throughout the entire recount.

“The Observers looked for political intrusion and interference and administrative humbug. Observers also looked at the security arrangements and the role of the police. The Observers also looked at the frequency and manner in which pertinent information was provided to the media by GECOM,” GCCI also said.

According to the GCCI, one of the things they observed was the constant checking of unnecessary information. He cited agents for APNU/AFC for flooding the process with a number of serial numbers belonging to voters they wanted queried. Again, GCCI noted that they were not given a chance to verify whether ballots were issued for these persons, something that would be indicated by the serial numbers being ticked off on the OLE.

“During this exercise, the Counting Agents of the APNU/AFC made innumerable allegations that the serial numbers they called represented people they thought were out of the jurisdiction on E-day, or were deceased individuals. These objections were recorded on the Observations Report, as was agreed in the Basket of Issues. Similarly, objections to APNU/AFC’s claims by other Parties were also recorded in the Observation Reports.”

Other observations GCCI made were regarding 47 ballot boxes from the East Coast of Demerara (ECD), an area under Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo’s direction. Other anomalies were the instances where the voter’s intention became subject to question, or when votes that were deemed rejected were restored.

“Finally, the GCCI commends the Guyana Elections Commission, as it chose to apply the rule of law, ensuring that the March 2, Elections can be declared a free, fair and credible one, especially given the controversy surrounding the District 4 Declaration made by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo,” GCCI said.