The Guyana Elections Commissions (GECOM) has taken a decision to include the Statements of Recount (SoRs) from 29 Polling Stations between Ogle and Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, that were on hold as a result of the missing ancillary documents, in the tabulation exercise.
This was revealed by Public Relations Officer of GECOM, Yolanda Ward, today.
“It was noted that the Commission does not intend to disenfranchise any elector. However, the Commission will continue to investigate the matter,” Ward said.
INews understands that the decision was a ‘majority decision’ taken by the seven-member Elections Commission.
The areas from where the ancillary documents are missing are from several of the Peoples Progressive Party’s strongholds. Among the missing documents are poll books, counterfoils, the marked (ticked off) Official List of Electors.
Following the discussions, the Commission had decided on Saturday that the SoRs prepared for those ballot boxes should not be included in the tabulation at this point in time.
The commission then directed the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield to investigate the matter.
However, several of the presiding officers have since indicated that they were instructed by the Returning Officer’s (Clairmont Mingo) clerk to hand over these documents to the Deputy Returning Officers (DROs) at the last minute despite them insisting that this was outside of their training.
Nevertheless, the POs sealed the ballot boxes with just the votes for their stations and handed over the ancillary documents
PPP/C Elections Agent, Anil Nandlall had said that this issue was raised with Mingo since elections day and he had acknowledged the mistake and assured that it would be rectified.
However, Mingo and even the CEO has since denied that they are in receipt of the documents.
GECOM in a statement on Saturday said it checked the poll bags in hope of recovering those missing documents but they were not found. It summoned the DROs, who worked between Ogle to Lusignan to explain what transpired on Elections Day but those officers did not turn up to the meeting.
However, GECOM has not published to names of the DROs who deliberately missed the meeting.
GEOCM has since claimed that efforts would be made to contact the Presiding Officers who were responsible for the respective Polling Stations.