CEO’s report due tomorrow; third stage to kick in
DPI, Guyana, Friday, June 12, 2020
The comprehensive report of Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Keith Lowenfield is due to be laid before the seven-member commission tomorrow, Saturday, June 13, 2020.
This makes way for the commencement of the third stage of the national recount process.
As per the amended national recount order, the CEO having completed the compilation of his report of the first stage is expected to present it to the commission for its deliberation.
After deliberating, the commission will then advise the CEO whether he should use the report to compile another report for an official declaration of the credible results.
The CEO’s report must include the Statements of Recount (SOR’s) tabulated over the 35 days of the recount, and more importantly the host of irregularities as recorded in the Observation Reports.
The Observation Reports of the 2,339 ballot boxes reviewed from the national ballot recount of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional elections exposed what the APNU+AFC Coalition has deemed a clear attempt at electoral fraud.
The Coalition’s summary of the irregularities has shown close to 8000 instances of fraud affecting 1,222 of the 2,339 total ballot boxes. Together, a total of 257, 173 votes have been affected, the government has calculated.
Discovered during the recount too, was the absence of some 540 Certificates of Employment, and 1,337 Oaths of Identity. Due to missing poll books, there were some 932 unverifiable Oaths. There are also 36 Official Lists of Electors missing.
The recount has also uncovered 560 unstamped ballots and 528 missing poll books. The names of 63 deceased persons were used to cast votes, along with 4,171 persons who were out of the country during that time. 326 persons without any forms of ID were allowed to vote.
GECOM’s Commissioner Vincent Alexander has already stated that there is enough evidence before the commission which suggests that the March 2 polls were not credible.
“Those reports have a plethora of issues that we have to categorise. We have to deal with issues with the stubs found in a particular ballot box not corresponding with the number of ballots. That is a reality. We have to deal with issues where significant numbers of ballots are unstamped. You have a situation where boxes have half of the ballots stamped and the other half is unstamped,” he had said recently.
What the Coalition government sees as extreme is the situation on the lower East Coast of Demerara where 41 ballot boxes are still missing all of the statutory documents needed for the reconciliation of the ballots cast.
Though an investigation was launched by GECOM into the whereabouts of the critical documents, no documents have yet been found.
The administration is adamant that in the name of transparency and fairness, the Guyana Elections Commission cannot use the affected votes to declare the process free and fair.