Most residents would anticipate {that a} accountable lawyer normal would take the proof offered critically – Stabroek Information

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Dear Editor,

I am responding with a tale to the attorney general’s letter published in Stabroek News on November 25, 2022.

Once upon a time, there was a country in South America, where General and Regional Elections were held on March 2, 2020. The elections were highly contested as much was at stake given that large offshore oil reserves had been discovered five years earlier. The two dominant parties were fighting for every vote in order to gain the majority in the national assembly. Vote counting was overshadowed by dubious events that occurred during the tabulation of the votes in the most populous region, which includes the nation’s capital. The issues were resolved by an internationally supervised recount of the votes cast, which resulted in the opposition winning the elections and giving them a one-seat majority in the nation assembly. The losing coalition took legal measures to challenge the recount results, but they were unsuccessful.

Several days after, the Court of Appeal ruled that the results of the recount be utilized as the official results of the general elections, the incumbent president conceded defeat. His powers were transferred to the newly elected president, who was sworn in on August 2, 2020. The irregularities that occurred in the wake of the 2020 General and Regional Elections, March 2, 2020 are now under investigation by the judiciary, the new attorney general, and a Commission of Inquiry, which was put in place by the new president. It is understood that any person found to be involved or responsible of executing illegal activities during the tabulation of the votes will be punished according to the laws of the land. The legal process is taking its course. So far so good!

There is, however, a further aspect of the 2020 general election, which would equally deserve closer inspection. GECOM, the nation’s election commission, declared that 464,563 votes were cast during the 2020 General Elections and a voter turnout of 70.2% was declared. It is well known that the officially declared voter turnout is not reflective of the situation on the ground on Election Day as potential voters have to be present in the nation in order to cast their vote. Given that the country has 36% of its citizens living abroad, the world’s highest percentage, the voter list is larger than the adult population of citizen living in the country.

Several independent observers have estimated the adult population present in the country on Election Day, March 2, 2020. They include the highly respected International Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) in Sweden, Dr. Tara Singh, and the author of this tale. To cut a long story short, the adult voting population in 2020 was estimated to range between 470,000 to 508,742. This amounts to a more realistic voter turnout ranging between 91.3 to 98.8%. In any case, the turnout appears to be unusually high for a country, where voting is voluntary. When asked to comment in public on the unusually high voter turnout, the Attorney General stated that “he preferred to be guided by the statistics provided by GECOM”. It appears therefore that the attorney general is either:

1) Missing the fact that the voter list is comprised of many more names than were present in the country on Election Day;

2) Fails to grasp that GECOM’s voter turnout numbers are misleading, or

3) He does not want to face the inconvenience that more irregularities might have occurred during the 2020 general elections than known to the public.

In any case, most citizens would expect that a responsible attorney general would take the evidence presented seriously and would launch an investigation into the possibility that more votes were cast than could be reasonably be expected in the 2020 General Elections. In closing, I would like to reveal that this is not a tale but a true story. The South American country portrait above is Guyana, the attorney general is Mohabir Anil Nandlall, and I am Andre Brandli, a concerned citizen and professor at the University of Munich, Germany. Given the evidence described above,

I would like to see that the honorable attorney general of Guyana take all measures possible to prevent irregularities in future general and regional elections. This would have to include the introduction of an electronic voting system and the adoption of biometric voter identification. What Brazil can do, Guyana can do too.

Sincerely,

Andre Brandli, PhD

Professor

Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich

Germany