Former GECOM Chair disappointed with investigation into origin of fake SOPs during 2015 elections
Guyana last General and Regional Elections hosted in May 2015 saw a change of government after 23 years. At that poll, it was found that several fake Statements of Poll (SOPs) were present, however their origin were never determined even though this case was transferred to the police; something which the Elections Body’s Former Chair is much disappointed about.
During his farewell engagement with the Media on Tuesday (February 28, 2017), Dr. Steve Surujbally noted that the false SOPs were meant to besmirch the character of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). He said “everyone knew that those SOPs would never have passed through the rigorous scrutiny of commissioners and the GECOM staff. They could never have been counted or included in the final total.”
“Put the whole issue into the hands of the police, as was done, I think by the CEO, Nothing came of that” he said expressing disappointment.
Several fake SOPs appeared after the 2015 elections. The opposition Peoples Progressive Party presented to the media a comparison of Statements of Poll between those in the PPPC’s possession and others by GECOM showing a total discrepancy of 340 for seven boxes. The original SOPs were printed by a Canadian company.
Dr. Surujbally further questioned to whose benefit those SOPs were introduced noting that it could be either of the major political parties because neither knew who would win.
“One could argue that the winning party, not sure that it was going to win, remember it was a very close election, that they were the ones or the losing party or some wicked person or group wanted to claim some fame by doing something like that.”
Following the 2015 elections, it was also suggested that the elections was rigged. There is currently an elections petition in the Court submitted by the Peoples’ Progressive Party (PPP) challenging the credibility of the elections.
To this Dr. Surujbally said “The elections were not rigged…The damn elections were close…If one wanted to rig, one would rig 40, 000 and not 4, 000. So there can be no debate. And it will have to be a massive conspiracy with many people involved and word will get out.”
A total of 410, 391 votes were cast at the elections and the APNU+AFC alliance secured 207, 200 votes to the PPP/C’s 202,694 votes to win both the presidency and control over the 65-seat National Assembly.