CJ orders SOPs, SORs be handed over to Registrar for “safekeeping”

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Chief Justice Roxane George, this afternoon, ordered that the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) and by extension the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), hand over all Statements of Poll (SOPs) and Statements of Recount (SORs) to the Registrar of the Supreme Court for “safekeeping”.

The order was made after Attorney Douglas Mendes reminded the Court that the Representation of the Peoples Act allows the CEO to destroy all elections documents after a 12-month period have elapsed. That 12-month period would be up on March 2, 2021.

Noting that the trial of the APNU/AFC’s one surviving election petition would fall after that time have elapsed, Mendes asked the court to have the documents be placed in the custody of the Registrar to preserve its integrity.

However, citing the voluminous nature of the documents and the fact that the Court does not have the storage capacity to accommodate such, CJ George instead ordered that the integrity of the documents be preserved and that the CEO should not destroy them.

Additionally, Attorney Kashir Khan asked that the contentious SOPs and SORs – which amounts to just over 5000 pages – be placed in the custody of the Registrar as a guaranteed safe place.

The orders were made and are expected to be served on GECOM and the CEO shortly.