says RO adhering to CJ’s ruling



Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Vincent Alexander this evening said his observation of the current tabulation process being carried out by the elections body is in adherence of the recent ruling by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George.

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According to Alexander, Region Four Returning Officer (RO) Clairmont Mingo is carrying out his function in full compliance of the CJ’s ruling, which was handed down on Wednesday, March 11.

The commissioner spoke with members of the media, moments after the elections body had completed the tabulation of votes cast in Region 4, in the General Elections of March 2.

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Over 400 SOPs for the Regional Elections were, at the time, still to be tabulated.

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The commission had moved the process from the Office of the Returning Officer on Hadfield Street to the Commission’s headquarters on High Street, Kingston.

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“I took the time off to read what the Chief Justice said. There could be 100 interpretations, (but) one has to accept that she places the authority in the hands of the RO. Based on my understanding of the ruling, there has been no violation of the process,” Alexander told the media.

The consequential order of the CJ on Wednesday insisted that the RO carries out the tabulation of the SOPs in the presence of the persons entitled to be there.

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That order is in keeping with Article 84(1) of the Representation of the People Act Chapter 1:03.

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“The extent to where one throws up a screen and the numbers are put up there, at the end, the summation represents that tabulation.

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He noted that participants in the process are  entitled to make their claims, but reminded that there is a process for the determination of whether  those claims are correct or not.

He reminded too, as was pointed out in the CJs ruling that the current process is not a “verification” process as is being touted by opposition parties.

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Debunking claims of false SOPs, Alexander said the Commission went through a process to ensure that the SOPs it received  were authentic.

“Since I have been in there, I have not heard any discrepancies. My understanding of the process is that they are to make a note, and at the end of the process, they can bring it to the attention of GECOM, by a way of a recount, that they disagree with the declarations made.”

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GECOM this afternoon said that in  light of the recent decision to have the remaining Statements of Poll scanned and projected on a screen for the Region 4 tabulation exercise, the commission decided to move the exercise from the Office of the Returning Officer to the GECOM Head Office.

“This move is necessary since the required scanner is readily available at the Commission’s headquarters and would contribute significantly in ensuring the process is done smoothly,” the commission outlined.

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