Allegations of election irregularities not ‘willy-nilly’, there is evidence– Cathy Hughes

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A senior member of the APNU+AFC coalition on Friday said the party has evidence in its possession to support its claims of irregularities at the polls on March 02, 2020, but it will not hand over the evidence to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) unless the electoral body says what it will do with it.

APNU+AFC’s Cathy Hughes said GECOM must say how it intends to deal with the objections being made in the ongoing recount exercise. She said claims by the coalition are not being made “willy nilly” and it is now up to GECOM to decide how it will deal with the claims.

“We have a right to make an objection and then it is for the system to deal with that objection and what we are asking is how is it going to be dealt with,” Hughes told reporters camped outside the Arthur Chung Conference Center where the recount is taking place.

The coalition has back-peddled on its earlier claims that the March 02, elections were free, fair and credible and have now come forward with allegations of votes being cast for persons who are dead or were not in the country on elections day.

The incumbent APNU+AFC is also concerned with other procedural anomalies that are being discovered as ballot boxes are reopened during the recount.

Hughes said while the coalition was comfortable with how polling was done on March 02, it now wants proper explanations of the discoveries being made in the recount.

“Somebody has to explain how that happened,” she added. Hughes said the coalition had made objections since E-Day and is now demanding a proper explanation for what transpired.

But despite claiming to make these objections on March 2, the coalition was pushing for its leader incumbent President David Granger to be sworn in on the basis of the fraudulent declarations made by the Returning Officer of Guyana’s largest voting district.

Hughes said the coalition is eager to find out how GECOM intends to deal with the information now included in observation reports which are compiled after each ballot box is counted.

“This is where we want to call on GECOM and the PPP is also free to check whether the death certificates are valid or not and this is where I want to say that there is a suggestion that we are here wasting time, that is not the case. We have valid death certificates for persons who have voted,” she told reporters

Hughes said the coalition has already provided some evidence to GECOM and she believes it is for GECOM to investigate.

She was in part responding to earlier comments by GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj who claimed that these allegations are to be dealt with at the level of the courts through an elections petition.

Gunraj said Friday he doesn’t believe the onus is on GECOM to prove the truth of any allegation being made.

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