ANUG says Lowenfield’s conclusions are false and cannot be considered by GECOM
A New and United Guyana (ANUG) on Sunday described the report by the Chief Elections Officer as one having false opinions and conclusions, saying the report cannot be considered by the Guyana Elections Commission. The party said the recount has unambiguously identified the party that won the elections and it is now left to the Chair of the Elections Commission to act. The recount showed that the PPP has won the elections by 15, 416 votes.
See below the Full Statement by ANUG:
On 2nd March 2020 Guyanese cast their votes to choose the government to take Guyana forward in the next electoral cycle. The election was conducted in a fair and orderly manner by the electorate. The count of ballots by the Presiding Officers at Places of Poll was done in the presence of Gecom officials, international and local observers, and representatives of the two large political parties, the APNU and the PPP. Their Statements of Poll were distributed to the party representatives and sent by Gecom to the Regional Officers for each region. In each region except Region 4, the Regional Officers assessed the SOP’s and declared the results of the elections for their regions. The result was that PPP enjoyed a lead in excess of 50,000 votes before the SOP’s for region 4 were assessed. APNU required 50,000 votes to win in region 4 in order to win the election. APNU has never won region 4 by such a large margin before.
The Regional Officer for region 4 fraudulently assessed the SOP’s and declared a win for APNU by over 60,000 votes. David Granger, Basil Williams, David Patterson, Kathy Hughes and most APNU officials dismissed PPP assertions of fraud, and claimed a victory on the count of the SOP’s by Mingo. They began to celebrate their ‘victory’. Granger declared to his followers that ‘The APNU has won the election’.
Then litigation resulted in a recount of the ballots. In that recount, the nation learned that Mingo had lied, that Granger had lied, that Williams, Patterson, Hughes and the entire contingent of the APNU leadership had lied. On the count of the ballots, PPP leads the APNU by 15,000 votes. APNU supporters have had to swallow the undeniable: that their leaders have lied to them, have deceived them.
Now, APNU has created a new lie. With the complicity of the rogue elements in the Gecom secretariat, APNU has told the Guyanese people that there were so many anomalies in the conduct of the previously fair and credible electoral process that the election must be annulled. In order to create this new deception, APNU with the complicity of the rogue Gecom secretariat evolved a five-stage plan:
- During the recount of the ballot box from each place of poll, APNU agents ‘alleged’ that a number of the voters from that box represented either deceased or overseas individuals. APNU gave no evidence of this, but stated that evidence would be presented at a later, unspecified date;
- The Gecom official dutifully recorded on the now infamous Observation Sheet that an Allegation was made by APNU that specified voters were dead or overseas;
- The Gecom official with equal consistency refused to record on the Observation Sheet the observation by any other party that no evidence was presented, that the allegation was a bare and unsubstantiated statement by a person who had no knowledge of the truth of his allegation, that Gecom’s own record showed that the individuals have appeared and shown their ID cards and been scrutinized by PPP and APNU reps and Gecom officials before being permitted to vote, and recorded only that the opposition parties ‘object to the allegation’;
- The Gecom official also refused to permit any Opposition party or observer to look at the List of Electors from the box to verify whether the named individuals had in fact voted, so that that question remains unknown.
In the meanwhile, APNU would promote the narrative that the election which had given them a victory with the Mingo Count was now not credible.
The fifth and final stage of the plan involved the Chief Executive Officer of this rogue Secretariat, Keith Lowenfield, who had been directed by Gecom to prepare a report showing a tabulation of the recount, and a summary of the Observation Sheets, would seek to lend credence to the nonsensical ‘allegations’ in that report. The words ‘tabulation’ and ‘summary’ are not ambiguous. The former means in this context to add up. Lowenfield has added up the recount and the result as the whole country has known for three months is that PPP won the election by 15,000 votes, and that Mingo was guilty of fraud, and that APNU lied to the nation and to its supporters.
But Lowenfield has not provided a summary of the Observation Sheets. A summary is a condensation, an abridgement. Lowenfield has taken it upon himself to decide that the unproven and unsubstantiated bare allegations of dead and overseas voters recorded by complicit Gecom officials on the say so of APNU representatives are evidence that the allegations are true. He has concluded that the allegations ‘were of substance’. Lowenfield concludes all by himself as if he were Gecom and not simply a functionary within the Secretariat that ‘it cannot be ascertained that the results… meet the standard of fair and credible elections’.
Gecom’s has replaced Mingo’s false spreadsheets with Lowenfield’s equally false opinions and conclusions in submitting a ‘report’ to the Commission.
It now remains for the Chairman, Ms. Singh, to decide how to treat this report. As a legal mind, she will know immediately that Lowenfield has exceeded his remit. She will also know that he has relied on unsubstantiated ‘allegations’. She will know that any reference to information from third parties such as Immigration Chief and Registry records will be impermissible since that information is external to Gecom, is untested by cross-examination, is unverified by anyone, and can only be raised in an Election Petition, but may not be referenced lawfully by Gecom.
Of course, the three APNU members of Gecom will try to pretend that Lowenfield’s opinion carries some sort of weight. Of course, the three PPP members of Gecom will disagree, and their votes will cancel out each other, and the decision will rest solely with Claudette Singh. The correct and lawful course of action is clear – only one party has won the elections, and the recount has unambiguously identified that party. The country waits.