Alexander repeatedly said GECOM would use recount results for declaration
By Ravin Singh
As the APNU+AFC seeks to have the High Court direct the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to use figures produced before the recount to declare the results of the elections, it would be recalled that the Coalition’s own Commissioner Vincent Alexander repeatedly ruled out the possibility of that happening.
“In my considered opinion, all things being equal, I don’t see us doing that,” Alexander had said on May 14 when reporters asked him about the possibility of GECOM reverting to old declarations, including that for District Four which has been fraudulent.
If the declarations prior to the recount are used, APNU+AFC would be declared the winner, when the original vote count and the recount clearly showed it lost to the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and other parties by over 20,000 votes.
“I would say that if the recount is completed, it doesn’t appear to me to be a likelihood,” Alexander again said, when asked whether there was a likelihood that after the recount, the Commission would revert to the 10 declarations previously made.
The national vote recount showed that in the tabulation of those 10 declarations, the number of votes for the APNU+AFC was inflated by 19,116 and the PPP’s was reduced by 3,689 to hand the coalition a fraudulent victory.
The numbers were doctored by the Returning Officer of District Four Clairmont Mingo.
After this was exposed, and a national vote recount was embarked upon, Alexander assured the media several times that the 10 declarations would be discarded upon consideration by the seven-member Commission, and the results of the recount used to declare the winner.
The recount results show the PPP beating the APNU+AFC by more than 15,000 votes.
“I would say, all things being equal, it should be [automatic]” Alexander had also said.
On July 13, Chair of the Commission Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh threw out those 10 declarations which contained fictitious numbers and made a fourth request to Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield to submit his final report which reflects the figures from the recount.
Lowenfield had previously submitted three reports – two in which he invalidated 270,000 votes and 115,000 votes respectively, and a third report in which he relied on the numbers concocted by Mingo.
On that same day, Alexander backpedalled on his position of using the recount figures to make a declaration, and instead signalled his support for the 10 declarations to be used, citing the fact that no legal barrier prevented its use.
“The fact that it is argued that you can use the 10 declarations of the regions, has to do with strict law. Forget content, if you look at strict law, the 10 declarations have not been contested. There is no legal action which questions those 10 declarations.
“Procedurally, those 10 declarations are available for purpose of determining the results,” the APNU+AFC nominated Commissioner said.
A day after those remarks, an agent of the party Alexander represents moved to the High Court asking it to issue an Order compelling GECOM to use the 10 declarations made before the recount to declare the APNU+AFC the winner, and not to use the certified figures from the national recount.
The APNU+AFC Commissioner had said the day prior that he was not in agreement with the Chair’s decision to rely on the recount figures but that she had support at the level of the Commission.
“I’m not in agreement with her instructions [to the CEO]. But, those are instructions are buttressed by the support of [the] three [PPP] Commissioners,” he shared.
On May 14, Alexander had also admitted that the Recount Order empowers the Commission to instruct the CEO on how to prepare his final report.
He had said that: “We articulated in the Order that we would advise the CEO on the compilation of the final report after he would have made available to us, the tabulations and the observations.
“Then we would advise him [on that] and I don’t think there was any dissenting voice on that.”
The matter is before Chief Justice Roxane Georg who will decide, on Monday, whether the Commission can use the certified figures from the recount or the 10 regional declarations which contain fraudulent votes to declare a winner.