As a matter of priority, the next government should properly investigate the numerous irregularities that were brought to light during the 2020 polls, and ensure that all who were complicit in inflating the votes cast in favour of the APNU+AFC, face the full extent of the law. This piece of advice was encapsulated in a letter that was recently published in the daily newspapers by former Business Minister, Dominic Gaskin.
In his letter, Gaskin was responding to one of the members of the Working People’s Alliance (WPA), Tacuma Ogunseye. The political activist had questioned a recent Facebook post by Gaskin in which he said, among other things, that APNU+AFC supporters were fooled into thinking that there was actual evidence that the PPP rigged the elections. His exact statement in this regard read, “The claims of fraud were grossly exaggerated and, unfortunately, designed to fool party supporters, who had placed their faith in the Coalition, into believing that there was actual evidence of serious election rigging by the PPP-C.” Gaskin categorically stated that he stands by his words. The former Minister stressed that the claims by the APNU+AFC were inferential in nature, relying on bold headlines, repetition and the use of words such as ‘massive’, ‘gargantuan’, ‘widespread’ and ‘intense’ to scale up their impact.
Further to this, Gaskin said that the evidence provided by the APNU+AFC was either weak, or insufficient to establish that there was fraud to an extent that could affect the outcome of the entire election in any region. He said too that there was little real evidence of PPP-C involvement in any of the irregularities uncovered during the recount. “In other words, all we have are a number of irregularities, many of which can be attributed to human error – unlike the Mingo declarations – and which do not show a result that is grossly inconsistent with normal voting patterns in Guyana.”
Nevertheless, Gaskin said that he never suggested that these irregularities be dismissed. In fact, whenever the final declaration is made and the next government sworn in, he said he would urge that they be properly investigated and explained to the public as a priority. He concluded, “Any wrongdoing should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”