Trade Unionist Lincoln Lewis is misguided. A declaration for District 4 can only be made when the District 4 Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, complies with the statutory requirements in Section 84 of the Representation of the People Act.
Given that the verification process for the District 4 Statements of Poll was aborted, a declaration should not have been made by Mr. Mingo. The fact that the verification process was not completed means that the declaration made by Mr. Mingo is fraudulent.
Mr. Mingo unilaterally declared the results for District 4 after failing to verify almost 60 percent of the Statements of Poll. Of 879 SOPs, only 349 were verified. That leaves 530 Statements of Poll to be verified. It is unfortunate that this fraudulent act by Mr. Mingo followed his commitment to complete the District 4 verification process.
This fraudulent act clearly jaundiced the District 4 verification process and lead to vehement objections by everyone present except APNU/AFC representatives. Why did the APNU/AFC embrace this anomaly?
The demand for the use of the District 4 Statements of Poll cannot be unfounded since Chapter 84 of the Representation of the People Act is pellucid. This is coupled with the fact that Statements of Poll were used for the tabulation of results in the other nine Districts.
At no time during the aborted District 4 verification process did the People’s Progressive Party Civic invade GECOM. At no time during the aborted District 4 verification process did the PPP/C intimidate GECOM staff or disrupt them from conducting their work. Such accusations are ridiculous.
Instead of peddling what has now become ridiculous rhetoric and falsehoods, Lincoln Lewis should answer the following questions for the Guyanese people:
- Why is the signature of Volda Lawrence, the Chairperson of the PNCR, affixed to the declaration of the Region 4 Returning Officer, when the declarations of the other 9 Regions only have the stamp and signature of the Returning Officers of those areas?
- Why was Amna Ally, the General Secretary of the PNCR, visiting the GECOM Chairperson at her home, when the Chair is unavailable to her international advisors, members of the international election observer missions and the political parties?
- Why was the GECOM lawyer, Neil Boston, being openly assisted by Roysdale Forde and Darren Wade, two APNU+AFC candidates?
- Why was the Region 4 Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, after he made the fraudulent declaration, escorted from the GECOM Command Center by six ranks of the Guyana Police Force, and has not been seen or available to any stakeholders in the electoral process, since?
- Why did former Foreign Affairs Minister, Karen Cummings, threaten to revoke the accreditation of members of the international Election Observer Missions?
- Why are former Ministers, Cathy Hughes and others, peddling falsehoods about Russians hacking into our electoral system, when that system is a manual system?
- Why the fear about returning to verification of the election results Statement of Poll by Statement of Poll, and/or a recount, if there is such confidence in an electoral victory?
Brigadier (Retired) Mark Phillips
March 10th, 2020