Gaskin says APNU/AFC losing political ground

Former Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin

Former Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin, who is caretaker President David Granger son-in-law, says the APNU/AFC is losing political grounds as they continue to escalate a political crisis in Guyana despite knowing that they have lost the General and Regional Elections.

In a post on his Facebook page on Friday night, Gaskin pleaded with his Coalition colleagues to stop fight its defeat at the March 2 polls and accept it.

“You cannot win this battle. Find a way out today. It will be easier than trying to do so tomorrow. And for God’s sake stop abusing everyone who dares to suggest that you lost the election. There is not a shred of evidence to suggest otherwise,” he contended.

The former Minister’s warning comes on the heels of the United States Government imposing visa restrictions on government and elections officials, who they say were found to be responsible for or complicit in the undermining of Guyana’s democracy.

Gaskin, who is also an Executive within the Alliance For Change (AFC) faction of the Coalition regime, says it is hard to fathom how the APNU/AFC can still be arguing more than four months after the fact, that about something as straightforward as an election, the results of which, at the close of poll, had been known and has not changed since. Added to this, he noted, is the fact that the elections were deemed smoothly conducted.

“So, for the most part, what we are grappling with is a static phenomenon. Further, the ballots were placed in sealed boxes which in turn were stored in sealed containers, unboxed only during the recount process, and subsequently replaced. So the evidence remains intact,” he asserted.

According to the former Minister, no amount of shifting narratives, specious arguments, contrived reports or court rulings can change the contents of those 2,339 ballot boxes, in which the net will of the people of this country is expressed.

He further pointed out that the “transparent” recount process provides an accurate reflection of what is in those boxes, and also shows a glaring discrepancy between the votes in the Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) boxes and those added up and declared by the Region Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, whose “clumsy attempt” to fraudulently alter the results in favour of the Coalition are what led to the recount in the first place.

“If it appears that the entire world is lined up against the APNU+AFC coalition, it is because the entire world, except the coalition and its supporters, knows that Mr. Mingo’s numbers were not the right numbers. It is the failure of the incumbent to acknowledge Mingo’s unscrupulous act that has us where we are today. The unfortunate truth is that the only ones fooled by Mingo were his intended beneficiaries,” he noted.

To this end, the AFC Executive said the coalition leadership needs to be honest with its supporters.

Further noting that Guyana’s political system may not be perfect, Gaskin insisted that trust in the electoral system is paramount. He said the votes in those ballot boxes, all of which have already been deemed legally valid, show that the majority of Guyanese prefer a People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) government than an APNU+AFC government. This, he opined, is what the coalition should be working to change in time for the 2025 election, instead of trying to change what has already happened.

“It pains me to watch this situation escalate unnecessarily when it is clear to most that the APNU+AFC has lost the election, and will not be accepted, either at home or abroad, as the legitimate government for a second term. Fancy legal maneuvers cannot change the facts. They only serve to delay the inevitable and raise tensions among our people, while exacerbating the adverse economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the former Business Minister asserted.

Gaskin, who was had to resign from the National Assembly as a result of his dual citizenship status – being a born Briton, has been critical of the APNU/AFC’s continuous challenges to the results of the March 2020 polls.

In a similar social media post last month, he said after being silent for three months while the national recount was ongoing, he can no longer wait quietly and politely while Guyana gets “hijacked, ridiculed and torn apart.”

Noting that while there was no reasonable basis on which the Coalition can claim they won more votes than PPP/C, he had concluded that the APNU+AFC has no intention of relinquishing control of government.