Only valid votes could determine Guyana’s elections- Joseph Harmon

—says govt awaits GECOM’s directions

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Campaign Manager of the APNU+AFC Coalition Joseph Harmon this evening said no government could be declared the winner of Guyana’s General and Regional elections based on fraudulent votes.

To this end, he said the government awaits the written directive Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh will give to Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield as the national recount process moves to its fourth stage.

Today, the Chair instructed the CEO to prepare a report in accordance with Section 96 of the Representation of the People’s Act (RPA) Chapter 1:03, paving the way for an official declaration of the election results.

However, commissioners said the Chair was not quite clear in her pronouncements. She then indicated that she will communicate in writing her directions to the CEO.

Harmon said the Coalition is waiting to see what will be contained in that letter especially since Section 96 of the RPA requires that the CEO submits a report to the chair for her declaration of the “valid votes.”

“The CEO always has to act in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of this country and therefore cannot make a submission which is unlawful. So, he has to be aware of that when he sends to the Chairman what are considered valid votes cast at these elections.”

The CEO’s report which was submitted to the commission on Saturday for its consideration detailed what he surmised to be an election that was not credible.

He said the thousands of anomalies rendered over 200,000 votes invalid. Only 40 percent of the total votes cast were reported to have been untainted.

“There was a process of a recount which lasted for 33 days and if we were to say that work is not to be considered, even though the gazetted order requires it to be so then we will have to see what the letter says.”

“The CEO cannot declare anything other than valid votes and in his determination of valid votes, we will wait to see those reports of the CEO reflected in the way those votes are tallied,” Harmon said.

He said the Chair’s decision was very “convoluted” which still has to be interpreted and “she recognised that and decided that she will give further directions in her letter.”

“So we have to see what instructions she gives. But I can say that no elections in Guyana can be determined on votes that are not valid and this was the whole purpose of the recount, to determine the validity of the votes cast at the elections and the purpose of the recount was to so determine.”

Harmon said so as far, no winner or loser has been declared as the chairman has made a finding so far from the reports submitted by the CEO.

“The final determination will be made when she puts in writing what is her meaning to the CEO and he responds in a way that the Guyanese people can understand.”