APNU+AFC candidate says recount is final, accuses GECOM of electoral fraud
Less than six hours after his coalition partner would have said that there is no legal basis for a winner to be declared from the ongoing recount of votes from the March 2 elections, APNU+AFC candidate and Attorney-at-Law Roysdale Forde has said that the recount is final and went further to accuse the elections commission of electoral fraud.
Earlier Saturday, Executive Member of the APNU and Guyana’s Attorney General, Basil Williams contended that there is no provision in the law for a winner to be declared from the ongoing recount which was embarked upon two weeks ago following several legal battles.
But Forde was of an opposing conviction.
Speaking to the media following a meeting between the coalition and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), the Attorney said that the results from the recount would be final.
“We [the coalition] take the view that whatever happens at the recount is final. In terms of its finality, and what it decides one way or another, yes,” Forde said, in relation to the recount deciding a winner of the bitterly disputed elections.
However, he was keen to note that the consequential steps – one of which is an elections petition – following the results of the recount, is something which has not been considered as yet by the coalition.
“Finality and acceptance of the results mean that you want to get to ask me whether the party will take at some point a future decision to file an elections petition. Should it go the opposite way, in relation to the PPP, would any party file an election petition? Those are questions we’re not in a position to answer now,” the coalition’s candidate shared.
With the notion of electoral fraud marring the process, Forde also sought to clear the name of the coalition by contending that it is the Elections Commission and not the coalition that conducts the elections.
“…a lot of questions I’ve been monitoring from time to time seem to place the responsibility to prevent such unlawful and fraudulent activities only on the side of APNU+AFC agents. But the people who conduct the elections is the elections commission,” he said.
Forde went on to explain that it is the Presiding Officers who are “responsible and in control of the polling place.”
“So it’s not APNU+AFC in charge of the polling place and objections can be made and we have made objections,” he added.
But most of the opposition parties and some of the observers believe that the objections being raised serve no purpose because the evidence is not being presented.
“When we are talking about electoral fraud, I want us to understand that it is a very broad concept. And it is systemic fraud that has been taking place in this elections,” Forde added.
The coalition has been raising objections daily, on the basis that dead people voted and even people who were not in Guyana on elections day.
The media has also not been in receipt of any evidence, but the party has said that it has submitted same to GECOM.