‘We are not saying that the election wasn’t credible’ -APNU+AFC rep.
“Countless irregularities” highlighted by A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition during the ongoing recount of the March 2 General and Regional Elections does not mean the elections weren’t credible.
This is according to Leonard Craig, senior member of the APNU+AFC, which has since claimed victory at the polls.
“We are not saying that it was not credible,” Craig said when asked why his party was still pushing to have incumbent President David Granger sworn in on results which they have recently described as having “countless irregularities.”
On Sunday night, the Coalition released a statement which said that it was able to trace an “emerging pattern of PPP [People’s Progressive Party] contamination of the March 2 elections.”
Among the “countless irregularities” mentioned in the APNU+AFC statement were dead people voting and Guyanese who reside abroad also voting.
These have since been debunked by PPP-nominated Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Sase Gunraj, who shared on Monday that no evidence has been presented by the Coalition to support its claims.
Gunraj said that there is a concerted effort by the Coalition to delay and derail the process again through its many objections which he said do not have a factual basis.
However, Craig believes that the reason the Coalition is highlighting these irregularities “even if they do not impact the overall results of the elections,” is so lawmakers and the elections regulatory body can strengthen the electoral process in the future.
“…it provides lawmakers and GECOM of evidence of what is possible, or what were possible infractions on elections day and we can go to Parliament and change some of those laws. GECOM can adjust some of its administrative procedures on that day and all these things have implications for these types of activities,” he stated.
Craig also sought to defend calls by his party for President Granger to be sworn in for a second term, arguing that even with anomalies, GECOM should be allowed to declare a winner.
“Even though you raise anomalies on Election Day, you allow GECOM to make a declaration and then you go to an election petition. First time in the history of Guyana you have an election being disrupted by all these processes,” the APNU+AFC member said.
The PPP has also claimed victory at the polls, and have publicly released its Statement of Polls (SOPs) – the documents which contain the number of votes cast – to support its claim.
The recount was triggered after a series of court actions which were brought against GECOM and some of its agents who were accused of fraudulently inflating numbers to hand the APNU+AFC a victory.
The international community, including the United States (US), Canada, and the 27-member European Union (EU) have since warned that if those initial declarations which handed the coalition a victory are upheld, sanctions would follow.