Jonas says GECOM Secretariat compromised

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Chairman of A New and United Guyana (ANUG) Timothy Jonas on Saturday said GECOM’s Secretariat, headed by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield, is compromised.

“The whole of Guyana know GECOM has been compromised, one only has to look for [Clairmont] Mingo and ask his whereabouts today to agree with me- GECOM has been compromised,” Jonas told the media outside the Arthur Chung Conference Center Saturday where a national recount of ballots from the March 2 elections is ongoing.

He further added, “so it is well and good to say they’re [GECOM Secretariat] autonomous, they’re independent and they must do their job but you hire some people and you don’t hire some and you have a good reason for it. Right now it is my fear and it is my belief that the people we’ve hired to do this job are compromised.”

The High Court had ruled that Clairmont Mingo, the Returning Officer for District Four breached the country’s electoral laws in making a declaration for his District.

The recount has been showing a pattern that the figures used by Mingo to make his declaration were inflated to give the APNU+AFC Coalition a victory.

The PPP has claimed it won the elections by more than 15, 000 votes and has published the Statements of Poll (SOPs) from District Four to show this; the Coalition has refused to publish the very copies of SOPs it also received from elections staff at polling places in the District.

In this regard, Jonas said he has no confidence in the GECOM’s Secretariat.

“I have no confidence in the Secretariat, we know who their members are –the CEO is Lowenfield, next one down is Roxanne Myers, next one down is Hetsberger. I don’t know these people personally but we have seen their actions, we’ve seen their conduct, I think we can all agree none of them have voted PPP,” Jonas explained.

Jonas’ comments came just hours after his party dispatched a letter to GECOM questioning its move to investigate the allegations of migrants voting on March 2.

APNU+AFC nominated GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander disclosed on Friday that GECOM forwarded a list of names of persons who are alleged to have voted while not being in Guyana to the Chief Immigration Officer.

But it was subsequently disclosed that the letter did not emanate from the Commission to which Jonas said “if the Secretariat has gone rouge, GECOM needs to address it.”

Jonas believes that GECOM needs to examine its record for all evidence and not rely on a third party.

“GECOM’s record is that Timothy Jonas voted…on the 2nd of March and none of you and nobody from PPP and nobody from APNU and nobody else can say to GECOM that Timothy Jonas was out of the country because GECOM’s record is that I went, showed my ID, put my finger in the ink and they scratched my name off the list,” he explained.

The recount process is set to be completed on or before June 13.

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