Speaking with the media today, Commissioner Vincent Alexander, said at today’s meeting of the Guyana Elections Commission, the Chairman told the CEO that if he fails to submit the report by 2:30pm on Tuesday then she will turn to the Deputy Chief Election Officer for the completion and submission of the report.
Mr. Alexander told reporters this afternoon that the Chairman was very clear in her instructions. He said the Chief Election Officer was similarly clear in his position that the submitted report was in keeping with the laws of Guyana.
The Chairman of GECOM wants the Chief Election Officer to submit his report based on the votes from the national recount pointing to provisions in the Representation of the People Act and other electoral laws.
Last week, the Chief Election Officer sought clarification on the request since he believes it clashed with Representation of the People Act. The GECOM Chair did not offer any clarification but re-enforced her earlier request.
Lowenfield on Saturday submitted his report which differed from the numbers in the recount.
The People’s Progressive Party objected to the report, describing it as an eyepass while calling for the dismissal of the Chief Election Officer.
The Elections Commission has not considered the issue of any dismissal. However, with the Chairman’s insistence of the report being based on the recount and her clear indication that she will turn to the Deputy Chief Election Officer if that report is not submitted, there is clearly some growing tension between the Chairman and the Chief Election Officer at the Guyana Elections Commission.
Unofficially, the recount data show that of the 460,352 valid votes cast, the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has won 217,920 and the People’s Progressive Party 233,336. The three ‘joinder’ parties- A New and United Guyana (ANUG), Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) and The New Movement (TNM) got a total of 5,214 votes.
Guyana’s constitution prohibits decisions by the Elections Commission from being enquired into by any court. That is with the exception of an election petition to the High Court to challenge the declared results.
Already, the regional court states in its judgement that “It is after such invalid votes are weeded out that the remaining “valid votes” count towards a determination of not only the members of the National Assembly but, incidentally as well, the various listed Presidential candidates. If the integrity of a ballot, or the manner in which a vote was procured, is questioned beyond this validation exercise, say because of some fundamental irregularity such as those alleged by Mr (Joseph) Harmon, then that would be a matter that must be pursued through Article 163 after the elections have been concluded.”
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