General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), Bharrat Jagdeo, has stated that the contentious declarations made by embattled Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, can no longer be held in abeyance, since the ongoing recount has proven that he has inflated figures in favour of the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition.
Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Justice Claudette Singh, had previously said that the report of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), which include the March 13 declarations for Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) made by Mingo, would be held in abeyance until there are new declarations from the ongoing recount process.
But Jagdeo said, during his weekly virtual press conference on Thursday, that the national exercise has already discredited those figures declared by the RO, hence they can no longer be used by GECOM.
“It can form absolutely no basis for a future report of any CEO, or for the declaration of the [elections] results. In just eight days of recount exercise, with just less than 100 boxes counted for Region Four, a pattern has been established and supported by evidence that Mingo’s declaration was fraudulent and false, and it cannot be the basis for declaring the results of the elections. So that has been clearly established,” he asserted.
The Opposition Leader vehemently argued that none of Mingo’s “discredited figures” can be used for any report that the Chief Elections Officer presents to the Elections Commission for declaration of national results, especially in the face of all the evidence of fraud that has been unearthed since the commencement of the recount just over one week ago.
Jagdeo highlighted some of the fraudulent figures that have been unearthed in just 25 ballot boxes recounted for Region Four – the largest voting district in the country.
“In Region Four, the figures for APNU/AFC (were) inflated by 1,874 votes by Mingo – just in 25 boxes; and in those 25 boxes, he reduced the votes for the People’s Progressive Party (Civic – PPP/C) by 262 votes. So if we were to do an analysis of this situation, clearly Mingo, from when you compared the Statements of Poll that we put up and his fraudulent declarations, increased APNU’s votes overall for Region Four by 19,107; and in his fraudulent declaration, he reduced the People’s Progressive Party’s votes by 3,653,” the Opposition Leader stated.
According to Jagdeo, this is a net difference of more than 22,700 votes that were fraudulently given to the Coalition by the embattled Region Four RO.
Nevertheless, the Opposition Leader noted that the recount continues to validate the Statements of Poll (SOPs) uploaded by the PPP/C in March, which have matched the Statements of Recount (SORs) generated by the ongoing recount, which has only completed about 15 per cent of the ballot boxes.