By Radha Motielall
He said other districts in which recounts were requested, the Returning Officers (RO) has since informed the Party that made the request, where they did not consider application favourable and they have already responded to the Party that they will not be agreeing to the recount.
The CEO was then asked what if the ROs maintain their position in the face of another request for recount, to which he responded that “I am not sure if they deny, legally what next.”
The Chief Elections Officer was also asked to explain himself in relation to the PPP/C questioning why he [Lowenfield] did not indicate to them why their request for recount was denied.
In response, he explained that he was written to and told to recount a number of boxes, with no reason being stated as to why such was being asked. He said in keeping with the communication he received, he responded in like manner denying the request, with no explanation.
On the issue of false Statements of Poll (SOPs), the Chief Elections Officer said these are being deliberated on at the level of the commission. And on this note Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally said the CEO was lauded for finding the anomalies and highlighting them, and therefore he will address and fix them.
He recalled that as the SOPs came in, the Commissioners we were able to pick up that they were fake ones. The SOPs were printed by a Canadian company with a number of security features.
GECOM meanwhile stressed that the fake SOPs were not counted. In addition the media was told that the number of fake SOPs was not of that great quantum so as to disturb the outcome of the election.
Dr Surujbally further questioned what would make a person do such a reprehensible thing, which he stressed will absolutely go nowhere. However, he also accepted that it might go “there where, by those who want to make an issue.”
The Chairman added that given the close race, he can understand the importance being given to the need for checks and balances. And for this he is asking that trust be placed in the CEO to fix the anomalies.