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Guyana: ‘GECOM must probe fraud claims’

Henry Jeffrey rubbishes contention that allegations could only be ventilated via elections petition

POLITICAL Analyst, Dr. Henry Jeffrey, said the allegations of electoral fraud, which surfaced during the national recount, ought to be thoroughly investigated by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) ahead of the declaration of the results of the General and Regional Elections, as he dismissed the contention that those allegations could only be ventilated in the High Court via an elections petition.

The national recount, which commenced on May 6, has unearthed a wide range of irregularities and alleged cases of electoral fraud, which, according to the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), have compromised approximately 90,000 votes. These irregularities include the discovery of 41 ballot boxes void of statutorily-required documents and missing certificates of employment, official lists of electors, oaths of identity, poll books, unused ballots and counterfoils. There were also cases in which the oaths of identity were unsigned and ballots, unstamped and partially stamped, resulting in them being deemed rejected. Added to that, the APNU+AFC has cited more than 3,000 cases, in which, it alleged that unscrupulous people voted in the place of the dead or persons who were out of the jurisdiction on March 2 when the General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana.

“Whether or not this has taken place is not a matter for speculation, but can be and must be sufficiently verified factually. If a factual investigation finds that not only one or 10 or even 100 migrants and/or dead person ‘voted’ in the elections, but hundreds and over 1,000 did and that this did not happen in one or two regions but in every region of the country, what are we to conclude? For me, the problem is not merely numerical; it is structural and suggests that some corrupt actor has been systematically attempting to influence the outcome of the 2020 elections,” Dr. Jeffrey said on June 3 in his weekly column – Future Notes, under the title – “When the winner becomes a loser.”

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