Jun 15, 2020 News
By Shikema Dey
Incumbent PresidentDavid Granger yesterday stated that the report presented on Saturday to the seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield was not final, hinting at the possibility of a second report.
“It is not his final report as required by the law. It is a report on the tabulation and the observation. And that is quite legitimate,” President Granger told reporters during a selected media interview at the State House.
Lowenfield on Saturday, submitted Matrices for the recount of the 10 Electoral Districts and a Summary of the Observation Reports for each district to the GECOM Chair, Ret’d Justice Claudette Singh, along with required attachments, pursuant to the gazetted order made by GECOM, under which the national recount of ballots, were done.
President Granger during his interview explained that to his understanding, “He [Lowenfield] will then be required to make a formal presentation to the Commission and in accordance with the Representation of the Peoples Act, he has not done that. And what he has produced or handed to the Commission yesterday, the Commission has not had an opportunity to study it and it is not the report that is required.”
It should be noted that the Constitution does not speak to the CEO submitting multiple reports to the GECOM. Article 177 2(b) which speaks to the appointment of a duly elected President states in explicit terms that “Where there is only one Presidential candidate at an election: or there are two or more Presidential Candidates, if more votes are cast in favour of the list in which a person is designated as Presidential candidate than in favour of any other list, that Presidential candidate shall be deemed to be elected as President and shall so be declared by the Chairman of the Elections Commission acting only in accordance with advice of the Chief Elections Officer, after such advice has been tendered to the Elections Commission at a duly summoned meeting.”
Most notably, the submission of a secondary report by the CEO was not stated in the Gazetted order for the National Recount. That order says, “The matrices for the recount of the ten (10) Electoral Districts shall then be tabulated by the Chief Elections Officer and shall be submitted in a report, together with a summary of the observation reports for each District, to the Commission.”
That report is what was submitted to the Commission.
Continuing, the order stated that “The Commission shall, after deliberating on the report at paragraph 11, determine whether it should request the Chief Elections Officer to use the data compiled in accordance with paragraph 11 as the basis for the submission of a report under Section 96 of the Representation of the People Act Cap 1:03, provided that the Commission shall, no later than three (3) days after receiving the report, make the declaration of the results of the final credibly count of the elections held on 2nd March 2020.”
Kaieteur News reached out to members on both sides of the Commission to enquire whether another report was submitted by the CEO. Only Commissioner Sase Gunraj answered and according to him, no secondary report was given.
Commissioner Gunraj was also asked about the CARICOM Scrutinising Team’s report and he said that it has not been submitted as yet.
As it relates to that report, the order says that, “The CARICOM Scrutinising Team shall submit a report to the Commission which may include their observations, recommendations and conclusions.”
Kaieteur News, however, received credible information that the high-level team is slated to depart Guyana today.
Additionally, considerations must be made to the report submitted by A New and United Guyana (ANUG) outlining their findings of fraud perpetrated by controversial Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.
The party formally prepared a document, separate to the Observation Reports (OR), which registers their findings with regards to the striking variances between the Statements of Recount (SOR) produced and numbers called out by Returning Officer for Region Four, Clairmont Mingo, at both the Ashmin’s Building on High Street, and the head office of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) at Kingston.
That report had been submitted to the GECOM Chair, Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh, and will be considered during the deliberations of the Commission. Previously, Singh had upheld a decision made by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, preventing any reference to Mingo’s fraudulent vote tabulation in recount observer reports. Instead, the Chair invited a separate report from ANUG on Mingo’s malpractices.
ANUG’s report contains a table with over 100 ballot boxes, which illustrates inflation committed by Mingo in favour of the APNU+AFC. When Mingo’s numbers are compared to the SOR produced from the almost concluded recount exercise at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), there shows a variance of 4,442 votes.
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