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Chief Justice orders GECOM, PPP representatives to resolve concerns over tabulation process

Attorneys-at-law Neil Boston and GECOM Chairman Claudette Singh.

Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire directed representatives of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) to meet and resolve a swirling controversy over the tabulation process.

The judge, on an initial hearing of a contempt of court proceedings brought by the PPP against GECOM, made it clear that the Returning Officer can use whatever method he chooses to tabulate the votes cast in Region Four at the March 2, 2020 polls.

Clairmont Mingo

On the judge’s direction, the Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, GECOM Chairmam Claudette Singh, Election Commissioner Sase Gunraj, GECOM lawyer Neil Boston and PPP lawyer Anil Nandlall are locked in mediation talks in a bid to resolve the now one week old controversy. “She thought it best to see if we can reconcile whatever differences we have with her order and report back to her to see whether she can offer some guidance,” Nandlall said.

Just before going into the mediation process, the GECOM Chairman said if there are discrepancies, there could be recounts. “If there is a discrepancy that cannot be addressed, let there be a recount,” she said.

Nandlall, however, said the PPP wants to ensure the correct process was being used in accordance with the Statements of Poll. “We are hoping that whatever discrepancies arrive out of this process will be addressed by way of a recount,” he said.

Earlier Friday, western diplomats accredited to Guyana walked out of the Region Four Returning Officer’s Office.

Change Guyana’s Nigel Hinds and election observer Kit Nascimento told Demerara Waves Online News/News-Talk Radio Guyana 103.1 FM that the clerk, in Mingo’s presence, was using a spreadsheet and calling out figures that inflated votes for A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change. They said objections were not being entertained.