Evidence is there, but Coalition still demands evidence of false claim against prominent attorney

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Embarrassed over the fact that numerous claims it made that persons marked off as having voted were out of the country on elections day were proved wrong, the Coalition APNU+AFC on Wednesday night sought to deny one of its very claims regarding prominent attorney Devindra Kissoon.

During the recount of ballot box #4497 on Tuesday, APNU+AFC agent Seivewright Benjamin objected to serial number 157 on the basis that the “voter” was out of the jurisdiction on March 2. That objection was recorded on the observation report attached to the Statement of Recount (SOR).

The Official List of Electors published by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) indicates that the elector linked to serial number 157 is Attorney Devindra Kissoon.

The Coalition was wrong because not only was Kissoon in the country on Election Day and voted at the African Museum in Bel Air Park, but he was part of the Electoral Observer Mission of the local chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce.

But after the Coalition was exposed, it Thursday night sought to ease its way out of the claim, now saying that it never submitted Kissoon’s name on any list as someone who was not in Guyana on Election Day.

“Fake News. The APNU+AFC never submitted the name of Devindra Kissoon on any of their lists as a person who was not in Guyana on the date of the Election,” the Coalition said.

Though the observation report is public, the Coalition yet still challenged the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to “provide evidence that the APNU+AFC counting agents identified that particular person and the serial number”.

Recently, Ganesh Mahipaul, one of the party’s agent, told reporters that the Coalition was making its objections at the recount stations on the basis of hearsay and not actual evidence.

Chair of GECOM, Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh said last week in a statement that “he who asserts must prove,” but backpedalled on that position after allowing the Coalition to submit a list of names of individuals who the party believes was out of Guyana on polling day.

Singh then requested the Commissioner of Police, also the Chief Immigration Officer, Leslie James to verify if a list of over 200 persons she provided were indeed out of the country. James provided the names of 172 persons.

Videos on social media and local phone calls to some of those individuals on that list confirmed that they were in Guyana and voted on Election Day.

The APNU+AFC and GECOM subsequently confirmed, separately, that neither of them verified if those persons alleged to have been out of Guyana actually voted.

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