GECOM to consider APNU’s SOPs verification findings

GECOM to consider APNU’s SOPs verification findings

Demerara Waves  March 20, 2012.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says it is seriously concerned about the claims of the APNU in relation to its findings from its Statements of Poll (SOPs) verification exercise and they will be fully considered.

The APNU on Monday stated that it had uncovered too many irregularities to form a credible basis on which the presidency could be decided from the November 28 polls.

In a statement Tuesday GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Vishnu Persaud stated that they had noted with “serious concerns” the issues which were publicised by the opposition coalition.

“It is essential that we point out that, at the time that the Commission agreed to make the SOPs available to the APNU for scrutiny, this Party had given the undertaking to provide GECOM with the details of its findings.  Notwithstanding the APNU’s public pronouncements, to date GECOM has received no official documentation on this matter from the Partnership,” Persaud stated.

When contacted on Tuesday APNU Election Agent Joseph Harmon told Demerara Waves Online News that that they would be presenting the Commission with a formal copy of their findings before the end of the week.  

“But this should be nothing new to them because all of what we are saying was discovered in their presence, they wont be surprised by anything,” Harmon stated.

The verification of the original SOPs was done at the GECOM headquarters in the company of officials from the agency.

According to the APNU, key findings include: votes on the SOPs not adding up to the GECOM gazetted results; a final list of polling stations was not presented to the parties; illegible copies of SOPs were used by GECOM in computing the final for the elections results; and several SOPs had forged signatures particularly in Regions Three and Four.

Another major contention for APNU was the use of private residences as polling places which it said was done particularly in areas that favoured the PPP/C. According to the coalition, coupled with there being no final list of polling places there were more than likely residences being used to cast ballots that they did not know about.

“In view of the serious nature of this matter, GECOM takes this opportunity to give the assurance to all Stakeholders that all of the concerns raised by the APNU will be considered extensively at the level of the Commission and its Secretariat in a timely manner.  Immediately thereafter, the Commission will make a total and comprehensive response addressing all of the stated concerns,” Persaud stated.

Harmon on Monday stated that they are still to determine their next move though a legal challenge to the election result is unlikely since the time period allowed by law to do so has expired.

— Post #1215

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