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EU Report Documented APNU/AFC’s Attempt to Rig Guyana’s 2020 National Elections

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First Published: 21st of March, 2021

Last updated: March 21, 2021 at 20:25 pm

The incumbent APNU/AFC’s government’s attempt to rig the March, 2, 2020 elections in Guyana, South America could have been brushed aside as a mere “allegation” by opposition parties if it hadn’t been officially documented by neutral observers. It is a stunt that has been described as the, hands down, “most barefaced” attempt to rig an elections ever witnessed.

And it was witnessed by a team of local and international observers from around the world, party members, and various other stakeholders. At one point, a then government Minister threatened to revoke the permits of international observers. During the showdown, a Commonwealth official took off his observer badge and pelted it to the floor in protest. International agents were not willing to sit idly by and allow a group of thugs to hold the country at ransom and rule it by force. They did not fear accusations of “interferism.” They were determined to play an active part in helping to enforce fairness and the rule of law in a country that was at a turning point in history and in what was dubbed as “the mother of all elections.”

The Head of the European Union Observer Group was the first to speak up and ask, provisioned by the International Observer’s terms and conditions, to see the SOPs from which the Returning Officer, Mr. Mingo, was preparing his infamous “spreadsheet.” At that time, Mr. Mingo was using fictitious numbers to bloat the incumbent government’s vote count in Region 4 with the aim of giving it a fallacious victory. At the same time, APNU/AFC supporters were vehemently calling for the swearing in of the presidential candidate and then President, David Granger.

This led to outcry, outbursts and protests from the PPP/C supporters as well as supporters from other minority parties all across Guyana. Roads were blocked, police were attacked, persons were shot and killed, and many were wounded. Public spirited citizens and various stakeholders from the various opposition parties spent sleepless nights guarding the containers of ballot boxes from possible tampering. All of this culminated into an agreement for a recount from which all observers except CARICOM was barred.

The recount results, certified by the CARICOM Observer Team, proved a PPP/C victory, and the incumbent government and its supporters finally and reluctantly ceded to the PPP/C.

Part of the EU Final Report Reads:

The results declared by the RO on 13 March are not credible. Among many other oddities suggesting that they have been grossly tampered with, without enough attention given to overall coherence, these results imply that the total number of electors who cast a ballot – valid or invalid –differed by 6,123 between the general and the regional elections. This is technically impossible since electors mark their choice for both elections on a single piece of ballot paper, two parts of which are detached only during the count. Following a tabulation process that was rushed through in deliberate opacity, there were consistent efforts to conceal other sources of verification of the declared results: not a single SOP in the possession of the RO, the CEO and APNU+AFC was made available to public scrutiny; the computerised processing of SOPs received by the CEO and initialed by GECOM commissioners was shut down in the immediate aftermath of the forced evacuation of the tabulation center on 5 March morning and the server with stored SOP data was never accounted for; on the same day, citizen ob-server groups and some political parties noted that most copies of SOPs that were posted outside the polling stations after the count had been removed; and requests for access to SOPs the EU EOM sent to the two main political parties were only answered by PPP/C.

Click here to download the full European Union Election Observer Mission Guyana 2020 Final Report.

Related: US Report States that the PNC Rigged Guyana’s Elections up to 1992.

Democracy Under Seige

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The March, 2, 2020 elections in Guyana, South America is one to be remembered. Because of the impending and much hyped up oil wealth, the elections was dubbed the “mother of all elections” in Guyana, South America, and it was naively speculated that whichever political party won this election would remain in power for a long time or indefinitely. It was speculated that the political party would cement its victory by using the lavish incoming oil funds to win develop the country, strengthen its alliances and win the hearts of the people.

However, this is an error in perception, and if the people sees that any political party abuses it power while refusing to attend to the needs of the people, then that party, like so many others in the past, will be disposed of and cast by the wayside. Such is the case of the APNU/AFC which came to power in the May 2015 and governed for some odd 4 years plus. Upon taking office, the APNU/AFC quickly doubled the salary of its ministers, implemented numerous additional ministries and sub ministries and backpedaled on many of its campaign promises.

Most notable of the APNU/AFC blunders was the abrupt closing of two sugar estates and President Granger saying that it is not the role of government to provide employment, but that people should seek employment by selling plantain chips and cook-up rice. The APNU/AFC also lost its vision by becoming overpowered by the PNC faction of the coalition. I should mention here that the APNU/AFC is a coalition of about 7 individual parties united in the cause of a better government. However, it proved itself to be none the better.

Campaigning on the lines of fighting corruption, the APNU/AFC corrupted the Guyana Elections Commission, and campaigning on the promises of job creation, the coalition government put 1000s of people out of work without a contingency plan.

Exactly one year ago today, the drama began. Guyana was under seige. On the 4th of March, 2020, an event occured in Georgetown from which would unravel a turmoil that would span a period of 6 terrifying months. The Returning Officer for Region 4 attempted to rig the elections by falsifying data on a spreadsheet. This led to an uproar and nationwide protests. Those who lived on the coastland especially felt the squeeze. We were a nation divided, a nation in anarchy as citizens violently rushed and attacked policeman. Our country was on the brink of a civil war which, thankfully, never happened. We pray that such an episode never replays in Guyana’s history. We pray for more stringent laws, politicians of greater integrity, peaceful transitions, and penalties for those who play a role in corrupting our nation. We pray that Guyanese will continue to live in love, peace, and unity, bearing in mind our national motto: one people, one nation, one destiny. Let’s learn from the past and secure the future while remembering the lives that were lost to bring us freedom.For those who say you would not like to be reminded of these events, remember, “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”