Gunraj rejects APNU claims that GECOM failed to verify voter fraud documents
Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Commissioner and Attorney Sase Gunraj has rejected claims by the main parliamentary opposition that lists submitted to GECOM alleging voter fraud were not verified.
Gunraj was on Wednesday responding to a letter by A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) Chief Scrutineer, Carol Joseph to Chairman of GECOM, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh.
During the March 2020 General and Regional Elections, the APNU+AFC had submitted to GECOM lists of names of persons who they claimed were dead or outside of Guyana and somehow voted on polling day.
In the letter seen by the News Room and dated September 20, 2022, Joseph alleged that “only a small number of submissions” was forwarded to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) for verification.
Joseph thereby requested all of the information received from the APNU+AFC alleging voter impersonation be forwarded by GECOM to the GPF and the General Register Office for verification, among other things.
“I reject this because all that was received was in fact disseminated or sent by the commission to those relevant statutory agencies for verification,” the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) nominated Commissioner said.
“As a Commissioner, I sat there in 2020, I know what we received, I have received that documentation again from the Commission and it coincides,” he added.
Gunraj posits that the requests are out of fear of a recent request by the Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, for the documents used by the APNU+AFC Coalition to allege voter fraud.
Nandlall, in a letter dated August 30, 2022 wrote to the Chairman of GECOM requesting the documents noting that the allegations continue to be peddled and it is necessary to officially reconfirm its inaccuracy.
“It is clear that what is happening here is that the fear is palpable, the fear on part of the persons who made that naked attempt to rig those elections, the fear is now palpable,” Gunraj said.
“They are trying to cover all their bases because their insidious attempt is now being unraveled and exposed and they are now to assail this process and assail what was said,” he added.
Joseph in her letter also noted that GECOM has failed in its constitutional duty to complete the verification exercise and to complete its own investigation of the matter.
However, Guraj reminded that GECOM is not authorised by law to investigate those claims as the complaints fell within Article 163 of the Constitution of Guyana which gives the jurisdiction to the High Court to determine the claims in an elections petition.
“It is very clear the attempts they are making to cover up or attempting to cover up the tracks that they created by virtue of their rigging endeavors and the manner in which they are scattering in doing this is now very very obvious,” he said.