Government to probe the supply of erroneous data to GECOM during recount of 2020 ballots – AG

The Government of Guyana will launch a probe into the erroneous immigration and registration data of citizens ending up in the hands of a political party, back in 2020, which was supplied to GECOM during the national recount of ballots during the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

The data was used by the governing party, the A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance for Change Coalition (APNU+AFC) to make several fictitious, false, misleading, and untrue claims as part of its political campaign about dead people, and migrants voting as well as claims of multiple votes being cast at polls.

Anil Nandlall, Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister

Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, Mohabir Anil Nandlall, S.C., speaking on his weekly Television/Facebook programme has decided to investigate the issue as it continues to be peddled as a narrative in the public domain by the discredited Opposition.  

“Perhaps we should have done it before, but it is not too late. These concocted and fabricated allegations continue to be made by that rigging cabal who tried relentlessly to pervert those elections. They manufactured records from the Immigration Department and the GRO office.” the AG told the public Tuesday.

He said that recall that the APNU+AFC back in 2020, wrote to the Chairman of Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and produced names of persons whom they claimed were either dead or outside of Guyana.

The Attorney General said that his party, the People’s Progressive Party Civic and others went  “went around and found many of those persons whom they claim those persons were in North America, but voted…”. Many of these persons who they claimed were dead were also found. Many of these persons also, on their own, came forward. Many of these persons were interviewed by the Press and many of them also spoke on social media platforms, such as Facebook. This information is in the public domain and can easily be retrieved and verified. These are the very persons whom they claim were dead and outside Guyana but who were in fact alive and in Guyana.

 “Well, the police or the relevant agency, will have to investigate and tell the public where that documents came from and who was responsible for compiling it and upon whose directions they were compiled. That will happen very shortly, in a matter of days”, the AG said adamantly.

The AG did not give any specifics to the Department of Public Information (DPI) when he was contacted on Friday for a comment on how the Legal Affairs Ministry and police department will work to get to the bottom of the issue about how the personal travel information and voter information made its way into the hands of a political party.  

It is not clear, if several persons who have knowledge of what took place during the time-frame are being questioned at the former Department of Citizenship, several government agencies and immigrations unit.   

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh had confirmed that the immigrations authorities confirmed that 172 of the persons she inquired about were not in the country on elections day, March 02, 2020.

However, some of the persons had come forward, who were on the list, to state that they were alive and did vote at the March 2, 2020 elections. Persons were even upset that they were being used in the APNU+AFC alleged plot to delay the results when they were not winning anymore.

Also, there is no indication to date that the 172 persons whose names are on the list actually voted or were ticked off in 2020.

49 Ballot Boxes, Missing Documents  

Additionally, the Legal Affairs Minister maintained his position on the statutory documents that were reportedly missing from the 49 ballot boxes that came from the Better-Hope LBI locality. 

He was adamant that GECOM must investigate and find the missing documents.

Now, as I have established the matter is now within GECOM.  Call [GECOM] if [there are any] doubts… is to call Mingo and call Lowenfield…and ask them to come out publicly and contradict me…raise it as a matter for the commission to interrogate because it’s a GECOM issue”, the Legal Affairs Minister said sternly.

He was not willing to see his party or Government take the blame for any perceived irregularity. 

“But every one of the irregularities that they are concocting and manufacturing, they want to throw at the PPP’s doorstep and the government’s front door. But those are GECOM issues…[Vincent]Alexander wants to wash his hands like Pontius Pilate of the issue. He will not be allowed to abdicate his responsibilities” Nandlall insisted.

Minister Nandlall said, “They must find the documents that they were supposed to put in the box, that they had custody over in relation to the electoral process. Don’t put it at my doorstep or my political party or government”. 

Elections COI

Meanwhile, the Elections Commission of Inquiry (CoI) is expected to commence their investigation before the end of the year.

Nandlall confirmed that the terms of reference is still being worked on while every other necessary document that may be needed is being organized.

President Dr Iraan Ali announced back in June this year that government is still moving ahead with the COI into the 2020 elections fiasco that saw Guyana’s elections almost rigged by the APNU/AFC coalition.

He then quickly announced that the CoI will be chaired by retired Justice of Appeal, Stanley John, and will include former Attorney-General, High Court Judge and Acting Justice of Appeal in the Eastern Caribbean, Godfrey P. Smith, S.C.; Former Chair and Chief Elections Commissioner of India, Dr S.Y. Quraishi; and Former Chancellor of the Judiciary (ag), Carl Singh OR CCH.