Govt says CEO acted within ambit of the law

—stands by final report

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, June 26, 2020

The APNU+AFC Coalition government today said the final report of the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield was compiled in the accordance with the Constitution of Guyana and the Representation of the People Act (RPA).

The government says it stands with the report by the elections officer, which shows it has won the 2020 General and Regional elections with valid, credible votes.

The government made the statement on the heels of the Caribbean Court of Justice’s refusal to order the withdrawal of the report at the behest of the opposition PPP on Thursday.

The CEO presented his report to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh earlier this week after the Appeal Court interpreted the words “valid votes cast” in Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution to mean “more valid votes cast” and ordered GECOM to consider the decision when determining the winner of the March 2, elections.

The report shows the APNU+AFC winning the elections with 171,825 votes and the People’s Progressive Party following with 166,343 of the valid, credible votes.

The government cited The Representation of the People Act Sec 96 Chapter 1:03 of the Laws of Guyana, which requires the CEO to ascertain the valid votes cast in an election.

“The CEO, clearly, is empowered and instructed by the Constitution and Laws of Guyana, not by any other entity or person. He has discharged his functions within the ambit of the law,” the Coalition statement said.

It was recalled that the gazetted national vote recount was intended to determine both the quantitative and qualitative nature of the votes cast at the General and Regional Elections and to determine “a final credible count”.

At the end of the recount, it became manifest that the results disclosed did not meet the standard for credible elections.

“The Elections Commission recorded anomalies, discrepancies and irregularities, the scale, size and scope of which were revealed only through tabulation and observation during the recount.”

It said the CEO’s report on the exercise is substantial as it assessed all the 2,339 ballot boxes.

“The APNU+AFC Coalition has iterated its preparedness to abide by the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana and the Representation of the People Act which provides for the declaration of the Elections Commission.”

The Coalition has therefore called on the public to respect the Constitution and laws of Guyana.  As directed by the Court of Appeal, GECOM must act, exclusively and only on valid votes cast in the March 2, 2020 elections.

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