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Chief Elections Officer to file arguments in DPP, Police Commissioner’s request for Statements of Poll, Recount

Last Updated on Friday, 14 May 2021, 15:19 by Denis Chabrol

Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes on Friday filed initial court papers to represent the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield in the quest by the Police Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions for the Registrar to produce and release “true copies” of the Statements of Poll and Statements of Recount for the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections.

Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire gave the parties until May  24 when they will return for the presentation of oral arguments.

Based on Friday’s brief hearing, Mr. Hughes would be relying on the Representation of the People Act and the National Assembly Validity of Elections Laws Act, which governs election petitions. In light of “some factual circumstances”, the Chief Justice asked Mr. Hughes to file an affidavit in support of the Notice of Application.

The affidavit has to be served on or before May 19, 2021 after which the parties would return to court on May 24, 2021.

Mr. Hughes said he would be taking steps to acquire the decision on the election petition and the Chief Justice’s orders.

The Police Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions want the Registrar of the Supreme Court to release copies of the Statements of Poll and Recount so that they could be used as part of investigations into several charges related to alleged electoral fraud against the Chief Elections Officer, Deputy Chief Elections Officer Roxanne Myers and the Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo.

Mr. Mingo faces four counts of misconduct in public office; Mr. Lowenfield three counts of misconduct in public office and three counts of forgery. Ms. Myers is accused of twice misconducting herself in public office.

“The Statements of Poll and Statements of Recount are necessary for the fair hearing of the charges as they constitute relevant evidence for the prosecution to prove the commission of the offences which are charged,” the Police Commissioner and the DPP said in court papers.

After difficulties had arisen concerning the declaration of results based on the Returning Officers’ declarations, in particular Region Four, the Guyana Elections Commission had ordered a recount of the votes cast and had eventually used those figures to declare the final results of the elections.