ANUG sounds warning to GECOM Chair about probe into migrants voting


A New and United Guyana (ANUG) has written a letter to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) cautioning the electoral body against moves to investigate allegations made by the incumbent Government that persons who migrated voted on March 2.

The letter, addressed to the Chairperson of GECOM Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh and dated May 29 states that “…the conduct of a trial to receive evidence from external sources to ascertain the truth of the APNU claims that GECOM’s records of what transpired on election day and who voted on that day is beyond the ambit of GECOM’s function.”

The letter followed a statement made by APNU+AFC nominated GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander that the earlier this week, GECOM forwarded a list of names of persons who are alleged to have voted while not being in Guyana to the Chief Immigration Officer.

However, Opposition nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj subsequently questioned the source of the letter indicating that it did not emanate from a decision at the Commission’s meetings.

ANUG said if the Secretariat is acting on its own, that is “alarming.”

ANUG posited that even if the Secretariat acted on the instructions of GECOM, “such instructions will be unlawful.”

ANUG called on GECOM to set the record straight on the matter.

“Given the conflicting information which has been thrown to the public, and given that the conflicting information suggests unlawful actions by the Secretariat without any authority or instructions from GECOM, it is important that you issue a statement informing the public of GECOM’s position, and of the instructions which have been given to the Secretariat,” ANUG urged.

The party is led by former Speaker of the National Assembly Ralph Ramkarran.

Following a visit to the recount site on May 24, Ramkarran said GECOM is not designed as “a trial body” and therefore cannot collect evidence or investigate claims that persons who are dead or have migrated were marked as having voted in the March 2 elections.

Ramkarran, who led a constitutional reform process at the turn of the century, said that all GECOM can do when those objections are made, is to acknowledge it with a “thank you.”

He said such matters belong to an elections petition which can be filed after a declaration is made.

GECOM is in its 25th day of the recount. It has set June 13 as the deadline to complete the national vote recount; it has also decided that the declaration of the results will take place no later than three days after.

See full letter below: 

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