GECOM ‘duty-bound’ to investigate allegations before declaring results –GECOM Commissioner
With stakeholders both for and against the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) investigating allegations of ballots cast for dead voters, APNU+AFC nominated Commissioner Desmond Trotman believes that an investigation is obligatory but he insists it must be done before a winner is declared.
Trotman, in stark rejection to opinions that the onus is not on GECOM to investigate the allegations, said on Saturday that the electoral body is “duty-bound” to carry out those investigations.
“It is part of the process and if it is that you are talking about credibility and you want to ascertain that the elections were credible, if you have information that something went on that shouldn’t have taken place you have to look at it,” Trotman told reporters camped outside the Arthur Chung Conference Center where a national recount is taking place of all votes cast on March 2.
He said the recount is not only to determine a valid count but also the credibility of the polling process.
Other political commentators, including Trotman’s colleague Commissioner Vincent Alexander, have previously argued that GECOM must automatically declare a winner from the final tabulations of the recount.
The argument had previously been made that the allegations will have to be dealt with via an elections petition.
Trotman disagreed, saying that he understands that the coalition has already provided evidence on dead and migrated voters and there is more evidence to be provided.
He said GECOM must use this information to carry out its investigations. Additionally, he said that other revelations of E – Day procedures not being followed, will also have to be investigated.
“GECOM will have to bring Presiding Officers and find out why procedures were not followed such as no stamps on some ballots,” Desmond added.
He repeatedly insisted that the Commission will have to investigate allegations of irregularities before the process ends.
Commissioner Sase Gunraj said Saturday that the incumbent APNU+AFC has provided “absolutely no evidence” to support its “bare naked allegations.”
This was moments after APNU+AFC’s Amna Ally said that evidence was in the possession of GECOM.