Before the Declaration of the final results of the 2011 General and Regional elections, A.P.N.U wrote GECOM and Mr. Goocool Boodhoo, Chief Elections Officer, on 30th November 2011, requesting an All party Verification of the Statements of Poll.
This request became necessary after A.P.N.U had received credible reports and had conducted its own investigation into irregularities which occurred before and after the vote count at various places of polls in Guyana.
- 1.We were aware that GECOM was prepared to declare final results leaving out 10,000 votes for A.P.N.U in Region 4. It was the quick action of A.P.N.U that averted this disaster.
- 2.PPP/C Representatives were moving around to polling places creating panic in some polling places. In many cases in Region #4 Police ranks had to be called in.
- 3.You are aware of the involvement of Government ministers in several cases of interference with the work of polling clerks on the night of E-Day.
- 4.You are aware that the DPP has recommended charges against a senior functionary of the PPP/C – the nation is watching to see what becomes of this matter.
The laws of Guyana, namely the Representation of the People (Amendment) Act 1990 (S.6) states that, with respect to the counting of votes for the ascertainment of results of elections, the Declaration of Results by the Returning Officers in the Electoral Districts must take place. Therefore, the Final Result should be the sum of the 10 Declarations by the Returning Officers for each Electoral District.
A.P.N.U letter to Dr. Steve Surujballi and Mr. Goocool Boodhoo went largely unheeded and ignored. It was not even acknowledged by the all powerful GECOM. Mr. Boodhoo went ahead to announce the Final Results of the elections on 1st December 2011.
A statement by Elections Commissioner, Mr. Vincent Alexander, appeared in the press to the effect that he had to stop Mr. Boodhoo from declaring an incorrect result. In the face of GECOM’S intransigence, protest marches ensued and after a shooting incident on the 6th December 2011 at Brickdam, Georgetown, GECOM was persuaded to give A.P.N.U a compact disk which, in the words of Dr. Surjballi, was scanned from original Statements of Poll in the possession of GECOM.
Once these diskettes were handed over to A.P.N.U, many persons were of the opinion, including Newspaper Editorials, that now that the diskettes were delivered we were to shut up and accept the results as declared by Mr. Boodhoo.
But while others were prepared to accept we, as a responsible Partnership, knew that all was not well. Therefore, we were not prepared to disregard the urging of our supporters to ensure GECOM obeyed the law.
In the first instance, the diskette GECOM provided us was so difficult to read and make any sense of that A.P.N.U was forced, at great expense, to print hard copies of the SOP’s on the diskettes.
While we were struggling with these poorly formatted diskettes GECOM gave revised reformatted diskettes to Election Commissioners.
After the first effort at verification we recognized that there appeared, on the face of several SOP’s, serious irregularities and, on 28th December 2011, we requested access to the original Statements of Poll in the possession of GECOM. This request by A.P.N.U was eventually approved by GECOM and the examination of the Statements of Poll held by GECOM commenced on 23rd January 2011 and concluded on 20th February 2011.