GECOM IT officer at centre of flash drive scandal promoted; to oversee Reg 4 recount

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Caretaker President David Granger visited the recount venue on Sunday

The Information Technology (IT) staffer attached to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) that was fingered as being part of the plot by Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo to declare fictitious figures, has been promoted.

Coincidentally, the compromised staffer is the person, who left with a flash drive containing sensitive election information at the Ashmins building, High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown, and was later caught in a room working with the flash drive.

He has now been placed as the supervisor for the counting station responsible for the votes cast in Region Four, effectively overseeing the recount of the votes for which he was implicated as part of the plot to rig 2020 the elections.

Additionally, the promotion came one day after ‘caretaker’ President David Granger visited the GECOM recount venue at the Arthur Chung Conference’ Centre (ACCC) and held questionable meetings with the Secretariat’s management team including Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield.

Granger was accompanied by the coalition’s Chief Whip, Amna Ally and APNU General Secretary, Joseph Harmon.

The meetings and subsequent promotion have since been questioned by the Opposition People’s Progressive Party which has since called for clarity on the promotion of the staffer it identified and has since sought the Commission’s “assurance that this promotion had no connection with the meeting with Mr Granger.”

PPP/C Election Agent and the party’s Executive Secretary, Zulfikar Mustapha, in a strongly worded missive to the GECOM Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, reminded that the IT staffer “was one of those accused of serious malpractices at Ashmin’s building during the verification process of the Electoral District 4 results.”

Meanwhile, GECOM Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward in addressing the details of the missive made public by Mustapha, denied that the promotion of the IT staff had anything to do with the President’s visit and that the appointment was, in fact, made out of necessity.

Ward told reporters—encamped in the makeshift media centre outside of the venue—that the staff member had to be moved to the position as the workstation supervisor since there had been two other individuals that had been functioning in that capacity from the commencement of the exercise.

She told the media representatives that one of those persons was the Returning Officer for Region One (Barima-Waini) and that he has since left to return to Moruca for a week.

This, she said, led to the need for “that position to be filled with a supervisor.”

Addressing the matter of the President’s visit, Ward told reporters it was more of a casual visit to express gratitude to the staffers and Caricom team, in addition to getting a firsthand look at the recount exercise and the facilities.