– GECOM has all missing documents
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is in possession of the missing statutory documents from Region Four ballot boxes on the East Coast of Demerara, documents that were ‘missing’ because Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo had passed instructions that they be left out of the boxes since Elections night.
The issue of missing statutory documents came to the fore after GECOM Secretariat headed by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield passed a directive on Friday that ballot boxes with these key documents missing will not be counted nor tabulated.
Lowenfield instructed that “Recount of votes not validated due to the absence of missing statutory documents” be placed on the observation report for these ballot boxes.
The decision to render the Recount of these boxes invalid and, subsequently, to not tabulate them, was made without the consultation of the Commission, the body that has general and absolute supervisory authority over this process.
After several objections were made by counting agents from the opposition and smaller parties, Returning Officers and Presiding Officers from the varying polling stations on the East Coast sought to clarify that the documents were not missing but deliberately left out.
One Deputy RO from Chateau Margot Primary, Paul Jaisingh in a letter to GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh explained that they recieved instructions from “Miss. Carlyn Duncan (Clerk to the Returning Officer Mr. Clairmont Mingo-District # 4) to include only unused, valid and rejected ballots in the ballot boxes.”
This decision was communicated to the respective Presiding Officers who all complied.
“As a result the other documents were placed in the bag provided. This instruction was given on Election day a few hours before the close of the poll,” the DRO said in his letter.
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