‘How could you, Mr Golding?’

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) — The Guyana Government has described as “exceptionally partisan”, a statement made by former prime minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding, who led an Organization of American States (OAS) observer team to the March 2 regional and general election.

Golding on Wednesday told the OAS Permanent Council that the poll was being rigged at the declaration of results by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and that the national recount of ballots has so far showed variation in results from the ongoing recount compared to the results that were declared by Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.

“I have never seen such a transparent effort to alter the results of an election,” said Golding.

Providing comparisons of the Mingo declaration with the Statements of Poll and Statements of Recount from the current recount exercise, Golding said, “It takes an extraordinarily courageous mind to produce fictitious numbers when such a sturdy paper trail exists.

“While the electoral process up to the close of the polls and through the tabulation of the results proceeding [was] in accordance with the election law in nine of the 10 regions, the final tabulation of results in Region Four, regrettably, came to taint the overall process and has led to the protracted delay in the declaration of the overall results,” he added.

Both the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity, and the main Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) are claiming victory for control of the 65-member National Assembly.

In response to Golding’s accusation, the Government said that his statement was “partisan, biased and incredulous”.

Former director-general of the Ministry of the Presidency Joseph Harmon, in a statement on behalf of the David Granger Administration, said apart from Golding’s comment lacking credibility and leaning towards the Opposition, the Government has noted the timing of the statement and its similarity in content and style to that of Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

Harmon noted that on Wednesday, Jagdeo appeared before the media at the same time Golding was addressing the OAS Permanent Council.

“It appears as if this was coordinated and prearranged to deliver statements which were strikingly similar in content and style,” Harmon said, noting that Golding focused on the issue of declaration and other documents issued by the PPP “as if this is the authentic statement by GECOM”.

“This is the same posture taken by the PPP in publishing Statements of Poll, which they have now taken down from their website because their Statements of Recount shows differently.”

The Government said Golding’s statement is not only “exceptionally partisan”, but also grossly irresponsible and hostile to the nation and the people of Guyana and coming from a former Caricom leader.

It said the statement by Golding, who resigned as Jamaica’s prime minister in October 2011, smacks of gross disrespect for a sovereign state and the ongoing process supported by Caricom.

“Golding’s partisanship and unquestionable links to the PPP compromise him, and no longer can he be considered an independent observer. He has clearly demonstrated a bias for his close associates and appears to have now become an unabashed co-conspirator of the PPP as they seek to defy the will of the Guyanese people,” Harmon said, urging Guyanese nationals to disregard the “distant voices” and pay attention to the unfolding situation.

The Government said that Golding has clearly ignored the numerous instances of irregularities, discrepancies and anomalies which have been uncovered in the ongoing recount process.

“Dead and migrated voters, and unsigned affidavits of identity in boxes. How could you, Mr Golding?” the statement added.

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