Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 9:05 by Denis Chabrol
The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has expressed concern about the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) assignment of an Information Technology (IT) staff member to supervise the recount of Region Four votes because he was implicated in an alleged malpractice during a previous tabulation exercise of those votes in March.
The PPP has written to GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh expressing discomfort with Enrique Livan’s new role in the national election recount and seeking assurances that his promotion had nothing to do with President David Granger’s visit last Sunday to the national recount being conducted at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
“We wish to remind you that Mr. Livan was one of those accused of serious malpractices at Ashmin’s building during the verification process of the Electoral District 4 results. We feel compelled to report to you that at Workstation 10, tc which Mr. Livan was appointed to
Supervise, has only completed 1 box from 8AM – 1PM today (Monday),” PPP Election Agent, Zulfikar Mustapha told the GECOM Chairman in a letter.
In March, police had questioned him extensively concerning the alleged disappearance of a laptop and a flash-drive and moving or changing Region Four declaration data from one computer to another. He has not been charged with any offence
He added that Workstation 10 is recounting votes from District 4, an electoral district whose recount of the votes has been, markedly, the slowest of all the Regions. He said from a total of 1,749 boxes remaining to be recounted, 726 or over 40% of this are in District 4. “It is our firm view that there is a deliberate sloth in counting District 4 ballots,” he said.
is accusing Justice Claudette Singh, Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) of Collusion with President Granger to promote a GECOM staff at the Recount Process.
Spokeswoman for GECOM Yolanda Ward has since said Livan’s promotion had no link to the President’s visit instead it is a rotation of staff living out of town. “This staff particularly moved to that position as the workstation supervisor because we have two staff who are functioning in the capacity of supervisors that were here from the start of the recount exercise,” she said. Ward explained that Region One Returning Officer, Trevor Harris left earlier this week for Moruca, North West District. Similarly, she said a GECOM staff member from Charity, Essequibo has returned for three days.
Ms Ward clarified that no secret meeting was held between the President and the Chairperson and senior management as was alluded to by the PPP.
President Granger has declined to disclose the details of those confidential discussions, saying that that is a matter for the GECOM Chairman to do.
The GECOM’s PRO says the President thanked GECOM and CARICOM teams for their efforts. She noted that opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo also visited and met briefly with Justice Singh last week. Presidential candidate Irfaan Ali is there daily observing the recount.
The APNU+AFC’s dossier for lobbying the United States government cites the Region Three Returning Officer for several irregularities. He is said to be a counting station supervisor at the recount.