…contends that any results from elections cannot be considered credible because of the high incidence of fraud
…Werk-en-Rust man tells GECOM he was out but listed as voted
DESPITE attempts to discredit a list of names provided to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) by the Guyana Police Force Immigration Department, one person has thus far stepped forward, confirming that he was indeed out of the jurisdiction on elections day, and therefore, could not have voted.
His name – Adler Bynoe, was reportedly crossed off on the Official List of Electors (OLE), adding weight to claims by the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) that unscrupulous people not only voted in the place of the dead, but also in place of persons who were out of the country on March 2 when the general and regional Elections were held.
Bynoe was listed among 172 persons, who the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James, said were out of the jurisdiction on Elections Day based on immigration records. At the time, the Police Commissioner, who is also the Chief Immigration Officer, was responding to a letter from the Chair of the Elections Commission, Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh. In light of allegations made by the APNU+AFC, the Chair had submitted, to the Police Commissioner, a list of 207 names for verification.
One day after the Police Commissioner submitted his list to the Elections Commission, the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) embarked on a campaign to discredit the list – posting videos on its social media platforms of persons indicating that they were in Guyana on elections day, and had voted.
But Bynoe, in a letter to the Chair of the Elections Commission on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, confirmed that he was out of the jurisdiction as indicated by the Chief Immigration Officer. “I can confirm that as a citizen of Guyana, GECOM duly registered me as an elector and my name appeared on GECOM’s Official List of Electors for the 2020 General and Regional Elections. Further, I can confirm that I am usually resident in Guyana, although I was out of the jurisdiction on elections day,” Bynoe wrote.
The Werk-en-Rust, Georgetown resident penned the letter to the Chair of GECOM out of concern after he saw his name published in the Kaieteur Newspaper, among a list of persons, who were out of the country on March 2, but are alleged to have voted at the General and Regional Elections. Bynoe made it known that he is not apart any scheme to defraud the electorate.
“I reject any contention that I may have supported electoral fraud,” Bynoe made clear, while “seeking confirmation from GECOM as to whether or not someone did vote on my behalf without my permission to do so.” The APNU+AFC has cited more than 1,200 such cases in which persons are alleged to have voted in the place of electors who were out of Guyana.
Chairman of A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Timothy Jonas, in an interview with the reporters outside of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) on Wednesday, said if GECOM confirms that someone, who was out of the country on elections day, was marked down as having voted, such warrants an investigation.
“If at some point, it is proved that anybody was out of the country on elections day and you see a tick next to their name, that needs to be investigated. That is problem,” Jonas said. However, he contended that APNU+AFC has not supported its immigration claims thus far.
“Right now we are not dealing with a situation where something has been proven; right now we are dealing with a situation with bare unsubstantiated allegations made,” he said.
In an attempt to cast a shadow of doubt on the list provided to GECOM by the Police Commissioner, the Kaieteur News, on Tuesday, had accused the Top Cop providing “false” information but the Guyana Police Force, in a statement that day, said it stood by the information provided.
“The Administration of the Force iterates that migration data produced by the Immigration Department of the Guyana Police Force is generated through its record system which includes an Electronic Border Management System. This system however, does not record persons who travelled illegally,” the force said in a terse statement.
That very day, the PPP/C, as part of its campaign to discredit the claims made by the APNU+AFC, accused the coalition of naming prominent Attorney, Devindra Kissoon, as one of the persons who was out of Guyana on elections day, but is alleged to have voted. But APNU+AFC, on Wednesday, said the claim was far from the truth.
“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 elections. These errors highlight that in the interest of accuracy, the PPP/C must provide evidence that the APNU+AFC counting agents identified that particular person and the serial number that was used in the process,” the ruling coalition said in a statement.
The APNU+AFC said it will continue to expose evidence of electoral fraud perpetrated on the country by the PPP/C. We will continue to do so during this recount exercise.
“The recount process has revealed that the election of March 2, 2020 was riddled with fraudulent practices; the dead voted, people out of the jurisdiction voted, many unstamped ballots, missing certificates of employment, missing poll books, ballots cast over and above the number on the OLE and other fraudulent practices,” the coalition stated.
While reminding that the recount agreed to by the President David Granger and the Leader of the Opposition, Bharrat Jagdeo, was aimed at ensuring that the results of the election can be deemed credible, APNU+AFC submitted that any results emanating from this process cannot be considered credible because of the high incidence of fraud.
“It is good to remind the PPP/C that its own Anil Nandlall declared while referring to electoral fraud that ‘once a fraud has been committed, it nullifies or voids the entire process.’” The coalition said it expects that the PPP/C will not shift the goal post and will stick to this position.
In addition to the 1,200 immigration-related cases, the APNU+AFC has cited over 800 additional cases in which it alleged that there were irregularities and discrepancies; these include cases in which persons allegedly voted on behalf of the dead. These irregularities, the coalition has argued, have affected more than 90,000 votes and ought to be thoroughly investigated by the Elections Commission before the results of the March 2 Elections are declared.
Political Scientist, Dr. David Hinds, in an interview with the Guyana Chronicle, said that GECOM, under the Constitution and Elections Law (Amendment) Act, has the authority to investigate the anomalies ahead of the declaration of the results, and ought to do so.
“If it could, as the court has said, look into the complaints about the tabulation of Region Four votes, then it can investigate and pronounce on other forms of inconsistencies,” Dr. Hinds submitted, while underscoring the need for GECOM to facilitate a thorough investigation.
He said the discrepancies discovered thus far have already called into question the credibility of the March 2 Elections. “I think the irregularities uncovered thus far are enough to call into question the credibility of the elections. You simply cannot have a credible outcome if the process is as compromised as we are finding out. The numbers cannot be right if the process is wrong. It is as plain and clear as that,” the political scientist reasoned.