Guyana Elections 2020: GECOM Chair intervenes to regularise Region Four declaration

According to reports, the suspension had occurred in an effort to clarify the ruling handed down by Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire. It was stated that the Chair was waiting to peruse the written judgment that was made by the CJ.

By last evening, the Guyana Elections Commission announced that the tabulation would restart today at 09:00 hours.   

GECOM Chair, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh

On Wednesday, the Chief Justice issued an order for the Returning Officer (RO) for District Four, Clairmont Mingo, to return to the legally prescribed procedure for tabulating the votes for Region Four after she deemed the previously declaration to be unlawful on the grounds that the tabulation used to arrive at it was in breach of the law.

However, when the process restarted on Thursday morning, the RO sought out to use a spreadsheet, which was objected to by all political parties, except the APNU+AFC Coalition.

Opposition-appointed Commissioner, Sase Gunraj, said, “The RO, Mingo, is refusing to use or present Statements of Poll to ascertain the total number of votes cast in favour of each contesting party.

“He is instead attempting to use a spreadsheet, which is a clear breach of the tenets of Sec 84(1) of the Representation of the People’s Act, Cap 3:01.”

The CJ handed down a consequential order that is in the best interest of transparency, but taking into consideration the need for urgency, the RO is to decide whether the process of ascertaining the total number of votes cast in favour of each list in the district by adding up the votes recorded in favour of the list in accordance with the Statement of Polls delivered, should be restarted or continued.

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  • guyaneseonline  On March 13, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Election Results Tabulation Exercise In Guyana To Resume After Brief High Court Hearing

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana, March 13, 2020 (CMC) – Guyana electoral officials were, resuming the task of the tabulation exercise in Region 4, yet again, today, after the High Court dealt with a motion of contempt, filed by the opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), in the latest drama, to declaring a winner in the March 2 regional and general election.

    The move to the High Court came, after the Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, recommenced the exercise, this morning, in keeping with a ruling by the High Court on Wednesday.

    But attorney, Anil Nandlall, told the Acting Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire, today, that her ruling, and particularly Section 84 (1) of the Representation of the People’s Act, are being breached.

    He claimed that the Statements of Poll (SOP) were not being added up, according to the original SOPs, and that Mingo had, instead, been reading out from a sheet of paper, which the PPP/C said does not represent the original SOPs.

    The Acting Chief Justice, urged the parties to meet, briefly, and further discuss the matter, as she wanted the matter done, and over with, noting “that there was grandstanding on all sides, as the nation waits”.

    She told the Court that all that is required is for the SOPs to be held up, during the tabulation process.

    “If you have to produce the piece of paper, this piece of paper has the number. What is the difficulty? Why we can’t just show the document?” she asked, adding “that could have happened, since yesterday”.

    Following the High Court hearing, Nandlall said the High Court ruled that “the SOPs must be seen, observed by the parties, and the parties present have their role at that process”.

    “That’s is what we have been asking, struggling, fighting and canvassing for. That’s all, that’s all,” he said, adding “I think, the Chief Justice has made it clear, what transpired this morning did not comply with her order. So, if they continue now, along this line, I will have to report and put in the evidence before Monday, and …let the course of justice take its natural journey, which will lead to imprisonment.”

    GECOM Chair, retired justice Claudette Singh, told reporters, she was pleased with the High Court ruling, and Senior Counsel, Neil Boston, who represented Mingo and GECOM, said that the Court had decided that the SOPs would be out, up on a screen, and that it is hoped, the process would resume after lunch.

    “It is a question of choice, it will be displayed,” he said.

  • Clyde Duncan  On March 14, 2020 at 12:42 am

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