Alexander not in favour of comparing Mingo’s figures with those from recount
Numbers which may have been manipulated to influence the outcome of the March 2 General and Regional elections and hand the Coalition victory will not be reconciled with those currently being produced by the national recount, APNU+AFC Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vincent Alexander, has suggested.
“Clairmont Mingo’s figures at this time or any other figures from District One to Ten are of no import to me. We have set those aside. Those declarations are being held in abeyance and we are counting from district one to ten and that is what is of concern,” Alexander told the media on Saturday evening.
Mingo was the Returning Officer (RO) of Region four – the country’s largest electoral district – who has been accused to inflating numbers for the incumbent and deflating numbers for the Opposition during the tabulation of votes for his two declarations made on March 6 and 13.
Mingo’s declarations of those figures were marred in controversy after he deviated from the legally established tabulation guideline, resulting in a series of court actions, and threats of sanctions by the international community.
Since the commencement of the recount last week, at least five contesting political parties, and other stakeholders have publicly shared photos and videos which suggest that the numbers tallied by Mingo in early March does not correspond with what is emerging during the recount.
Shazaam Ally, one of the Executive Members of The Citizenship Initiative (TCI) – one of the contesting parties – was one who shared his views on Facebook on Saturday.
“I’ve heard some of the figures from Statement of Polls (SoPs) through audio and our Presidential Candidate Rondha-Ann Lam that was read out by Clairmont Mingo. I compared them to the Statement of Recounts (SoRs) that were released by GECOM to party officials, including The Citizenship Initiative, and I will confirm that the figures for the incumbent were bloated” Ally wrote on his profile.
A video which has since been circulated on social media revealed at for ballot box #4058, the Clerk under Mingo’s watch, allocated 163 votes for the APNU+AFC and 71 for the PPP during the tabulation exercise in early march.
While it was not clear whether those numbers were for General or Regional Elections, neither of them matched the Statement of Recount (SOR), for that ballot box, produced during the recount.
In fact, Mingo’s figures for that ballot box, would have given the Coalition 70 extra votes for the General Elections or 69 if it were applicable to the Regional Elections.
But while maintaining that he is not currently advocating for a comparison of the figures, Alexander said that he was “not going to be dragged into a particular district” since there were calls for recount “across the board”. But in fact, there were not calls for recount in all regions after declarations were made.
He also said that it might be beneficial for a total comparison to be done, and not just one that looks at Mingo’s numbers.
“It may be beneficial to make a comparison of all figures. I’m not in the process of advocating. I said it may be beneficial,” he said, adding that it might be prudent for GECOM to establish a research arm for such purposes.
Earlier today, GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) noted that GECOM has not been engaged in any form of comparison, and no formal complaint has been lodged with the elections regulatory body regarding Mingo’s figures.
PPP Executive Member Anil Nandlall subsequently dismissed that claim, noting that he had dispatched a letter to the GECOM Chair with his objections.