Essequibo family threatens legal action over APNU/AFC’s use of relative’s death certificate

The document obtained by APNU/AFC

The APNU/AFC Coalition could soon face legal action from an Essequibo Coast family who is upset that their dead relative’s private records are being used for political purposes.

APNU/AFC claimed that records show that a dead woman “Chitnandani Ramdass” voted at the March 2 polls.

The State media – the Guyana Chronicle – published the woman’s death certificate as “evidence” of its claim.

However, it was reported that no one actually voted under the dead woman’s name. Her name was unticked on the voters list, that is, the ‘pink list’ from the polling station indicating that there was no vote was cast in her name – as has been the case with most of the objections being made by the coalition during the ongoing recount exercise.

The woman’s family is upset with the way in which the Coalition is using their private records for political purposes.

Her son, Puran Manbode, told the INews that they never granted permission for the Coalition party to access or even use the death certificate.

In fact, the man explained that a Coalition representative from the area had gone to their house and collected the full name of his dead mother under the pretext of doing some other work.

“The Coalition had a guy… going around. They come by me now and asked ‘who name Ramdass’. So my wife told him that is her mother-in-law. But he come around in a way like and say water running over in somebody yard. So he come impersonating,” the man related.

He noted that two days later, they saw the article in Chronicle newspaper with his mother’s death certificate.

“Then my wife tell me he de come, and then we realise that the fella instigate the thing because he de ask for my mother right name. My wife didn’t know what going on so she tell he my mother name ‘Chitnandani’,” the son added.

After the article was published, the man said he called up his other siblings and none of them knew that their mother’s death certificate was being used Coalition.

The man is contending that his mother’s death certificate is a personal document for the family and should not be published for the world to see.

“A death certificate supposed to be in the family; it’s a personal document. How come they gone and pick it up and who authoritised them to pick it up. I didn’t authorise them; and none of my siblings didn’t authorise them… [For example] if my mother had died of AIDS now and they gone and publish the death certificate for the whole world to see, how this woulda look for my family?”

To this end, the family has retained Attorney Glenn Hanoman to pursue legal actions.

Since the national recount began some three weeks ago, APNU/AFC agents have been making objections to certain ballots claiming that the vote was cast using the names of either dead people or those who have migrated.

The party officials have indicated that they had hundreds of death certificates to show that dead persons voted.

In fact, Caretaker Minister Cathy Hughes had defended her party’s access to the document, telling media operatives that the persons were identified by the party through its fieldwork and that the certificates were later applied for and the $300 fee paid.