Opposition parties verifying statements of poll

Both the Alliance for Change (AFC) and A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) are in the midst of verifying the Statements of Poll they received from the Guyana Elections Commission (Gecom) on Thursday, but it is too soon to say what the process will yield.

The AFC anticipates being finished with the verification today, while APNU said that the party will be making a report when the process is ended.

Speaking to the Stabroek News yesterday prime ministerial candidate of APNU Dr Rupert Roopnaraine said the party is in the process of reconciling the Statements of Poll.

Roopnaraine said that at the end of the process, the party would be making a pronouncement on the verification of the SOPs. Asked whether the party had found any discrepancies thus far, he said that he did not wish to disclose any partial information, preferring to wait until the end of the process when the APNU would make its findings known.

“We have printed out the scanned copies of the SOPs on the DVDs and we are doing the reconciliation of both the manual ones and the electronic ones,” he said, adding that the process was ongoing at present.

On Thursday, the parties received the copies of the SOPs from Gecom and APNU and the AFC said they would have been going through them.

David Patterson of the AFC, when contacted yesterday, said the party was still in the process of going through the SOPs Gecom had supplied. He said that as had been stated earlier, the party found numerical errors and is now in the process of going through these with a view to establishing whether they were as a result of human error or whether they were done deliberately.

Patterson had said that his party, in support of APNU’s call for verification, had shared with APNU whatever information was required, “because we were in possession of some SOPs which they were not [in possession of].”

He said too that the AFC also shared with the Electoral Assistance Bureau (EAB) SOPs they did not have.

Patterson gave his party’s commitment to meeting and sitting down as a party or as a group of parties to go through this verification as a collective.

Speaking at the AFC’s press conference on Wednes-day, party leader Raphael Trotman called Gecom a quasi-judicial body that has a judicial function and said that if it carries out that function it has a right to show the basis for how it acted. The AFC had supported the APNU in its call to have the Statements of Poll shared with all of the contesting parties and all of the observer missions.

The call for verification of SOPs was the subject of massive protests in the days after the elections and these protests led to the closure of some businesses and reactions from the PPP/C and the Private Sector Commission that they should cease. The protests turned violent on Tuesday when police opened fire on protesters, wounding some of them with rubber bullets.

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