Coalition again claims elections victory; wants President sworn in quickly

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The APNU+AFC Coalition on Thursday denied that it was involved in elections fraud and again claimed victory in the March 02 polls. It wants the President sworn in quickly, saying it won the elections when votes were added up with those declared for District Four on March 14.

The High Court had ruled that the original tabulation process for District Four had breached the law and the process has been condemned by parties and local and international observers as being fraudulent.

While the full Commission of GECOM, which includes the Coalition’s three Commissioners agreed to a recount, one of the Coalition’s candidates went to the court to block it.

Campaign Manager Joseph Harmon at a press conference Thursday did not say clearly that the Coalition was backing the candidate who claimed that GECOM could not carry out the recount her leader, President David Granger, initiated.

High Court Judge Franklyn Holder is expected to rule Friday on whether the High Court has the powers to take up the case.

The High Court had ordered the Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to use the original Statements of Poll from the Region to add up the votes cast for each party and to display those Statements so party agents and others could see them. But this did not take place on March 14, party agents had noted when the declaration was made.

The international community has already threatened sanctions against Guyana if a President is sworn in on the basis of the Region 4 votes.

“We believe that we have won these elections – we believe that the figures that are there since the 14 of March and therefore if it is that this is what will avert any serious sanctions and so on, I am sure that the President and the parties that comprise the APNU+AFC will be prepared to look at that [recount/elections petition] carefully and to give some consideration to it,” Harmon told reporters.

He dismissed allegations of electoral fraud.

“Fraud is not a political term, it is a legal concept which requires specific averments that speaks to fraud. You have to detail the particulars of fraud.

“As far as I am aware, there is not a finger that has been lifted to say that the APNU+AFC was involved in any fraud,” Harmon insisted.

Following the international condemnation of the results, President Granger had requested a national recount of all votes supervised by a high-level CARICOM team in agreement with the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

But even though the CARICOM team arrived, GECOM could not go ahead with preparations for the recount after one of the Coalition’s candidates, Ulita Mooore, was granted a High Court injunction to block the process.

That injunction and several others have since constrained GECOM from moving ahead.

“We urge GECOM to have those matters concluded earliest so that the final results can be made, leading to the swearing-in of the President. Guyana has patiently waited on this matter, and while I understand the impatience of some, the APNU+AFC are law-abiding and anxiously awaits the President being sworn in,” Harmon said.

On the issue of international sanctions, Harmon believes it is “anti-national” for anyone to lobby for this and so he urged all political parties to work with APNU+AFC and rectify what issues they may have.

“It’s very anti-national and I don’t see any country in the world that actually would want to invite that level of sanction on its country knowing fully well the developmental path on which we are.

“I encourage all of the parties to let us sit and work out differences. Sanctions is not the way. It is not the way.”

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