Coalition refuses to budge on release of SoPs on which it claimed ‘victory’

AFC’s David Patterson

Alliance For Change (AFC) General Secretary, David Patterson, while condemning criticism raised by former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has refused to commit to release the Statements of Poll (SoPs) in the party’s possession on which the Coalition had claimed that it won the elections.

Several stakeholders had called on the APNU/AFC to release the SoPs in their possession, in order to have an independent analysis conducted against the Statements of Recount (SoRs), being generated during the national recount exercise underway at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

Patterson gave the coalition’s position on Thursday while speaking with media operatives encamped in the makeshift media centre erected outside the ACCC.

The former Jamaican Prime Minister the previous day had delivered to the Organisation of American States (OAS), as Head of the OAS’ Electoral Observer Mission to Guyana, a scathing attack on the declarations for Region Four by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo for the votes cast on March 2, calling his declaration “fictitious” and a “transparent attempt to alter the election results”.

Patterson on Thursday dismissed the need for the SoPs in their entirety, saying it was the SoRs “that matter now … this exercise is not a question of comparison in my opinion, it is a question of determining a winner and the next government”.

The AFC General Secretary suggested that the coalition did not want to interrupt the recount process by releasing its SoPs, but maintained that the SoRs were confirming its positions.

He reminded that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has in its possession 10 declarations for each of the 10 administrative regions and the Commissioners would have to take a decision on those.

Patterson told reporters that the figures that were called out by ex-Prime Minister Golding did not match up with the figures in the party’s possession.

However, asked repeatedly about his coalition producing its SoPs, Patterson maintained, “the documents now that are most important are SoRs and the comparativeness and the observation reports”.

Bruce Golding, Head of the OAS Electoral Observer Mission

Despite claiming to never actually seeing the specific numbers that had been declared by Mingo, Patterson told reporters that the numbers coming out of the recount in fact matched those in the party’s possession.

Asked again to produce the figures that his party is making reference to and based upon which it is claiming victory, Patterson told reporters, “what we want to, what we doing, what we want to do is at the end of every district with district one here, we will release our tabulations…”

Confronted with the fact that some SoPs, as highlighted by Golding, had, in fact, inflated the votes for the APNU/AFC, Patterson told reporters, “he called some numbers, I don’t know where it is…this process that we have here right now will tell you what’s decreased, what increases, what’s right and what’s not right”.

Meanwhile, former Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister Anil Nandlall – maintaining that the SoRs currently being generated by the recount exercise continue to match up with the Election Day SoPs – said the “fraud of Mr Mingo is being unravelled box by box”.

Several other stakeholders, including all the international observer groups, had labelled the Region 4 tabulations are fraudulent.