By Radha Motielall
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has rejected the claim made by Former President Bharrat Jagdeo to the effect that ballot boxes were “stuffed” during the November 28, 2011 elections, which saw the PPP/C losing its majority in the National Assembly.
At the PPP/C rally at Stewartville, West Coast Demerara at the weekend, Jagdeo in urging international observers in Guyana for the May 11 elections to be vigilant at all polling stations alleged that ballot boxes were “stuffed” in some places during the 2011 elections.
Jagdeo told the crowd that “we know what happen in 2011. In some of the villages, where they threw our polling agents out or where we didn’t have polling agents, the vote went up from an average of 74% to 95%. They stuffed the boxes in those areas. We have to guard against that happening again”.
Responding to these allegations, Chairman of GECOM, Dr. Steve Surujbally told iNews that “stuffed” ballot boxes are a figment of Jagdeo’s imagination.
He said, “If it is true what he is reported to have said then it’s a figment of his imagination. I have never heard of that, I have asked my staff and never heard of this accusation before,” Dr Surujbally told iNews.
Additionally, the former President urged GECOM to publish every instruction given to presiding officers “so that they do not act capriciously and if they do, GECOM must publish in the newspapers the penalties and jail term associated with tampering with the poll.”
Responding to this call, the GECOM Chairman said he does not mind this at all.
“I truly don’t mind that, I don’t mind that at all…outside of every polling station we will be putting a document about the presiding officers and what they must do”.
Dr. Surujbally stressed that each place of poll will bear a manual on the conduct of the presiding officers and “the public can ask to see the manual if they feel that the presiding officers are in breach”.
The Chairman however hastened to add that GECOM’s presiding officers are well trained that he does not expect any breach from their side.