Opposition obstructs tabulation process again
–Defies chief Justice’s ruling
–GECOM Chair reviewing CJ’s ruling to make informed decision
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 12, 2020
Members of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) have once again disrupted the tabulation process by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) for District Four.
Region Four Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo resumed this process morning in the presence of all relevant stakeholders as was ordered by Chief Justice (ag) Roxanne George when she handed down her ruling yesterday.
The case was brought against GECOM by the PPP on Thursday last after they filed an injunction to stop the RO Mingo from making a public declaration of the votes cast in Region Four
In a press release issued today, GECOM stated that the RO, using information from the Statements of Polls he received “directly from polling stations”, compiled a spreadsheet of the votes cast for each party.
However, this method was rejected by the Opposition, despite the ruling of the Chief Justice which clearly stated that the onus is on the RO to determine which method is best suited to tabulate the votes.
The Chief Justice in handing down her orders clearly outlined that “it would be for the Returning Officer and or the Deputy Returning Officer to decide whether, in the interest of transparency, the addition process should be restarted or continued from where it was left off. It would also be for these functionaries to decide the best method of tabulating the statements of poll.
This defiance of the Chief Justice’s ruling by the PPP has resulted in the intervention of the Chairperson of GECOM, Retired Justice Claudette Singh.
The release further stated that “as a consequence, Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh intervened and explained that she received an order of the court and not the written judgement. She noted that the CJ’s admonitions re in the written judgement and she has promised a copy of that document before the end of the day.”
The tabulation process will continue when the GECOM Chairman has reviewed and analysed the CJ’s written judgment. “The commission will advise the stakeholders on the next steps as it continues to work assiduously to ensure full compliance with the Chief Justice’s decision and the fulfilment of its constitutional duties,” the release stated.