GECOM Commissioners want Benn to recuse himself from elections investigation
The APNU nominated Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) are calling on the current Minister of Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn to recuse himself from ongoing investigations into the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
Benn, who served as a PPP nominated GECOM Commissioner before his appointment as Government Minister in early August, is a complainant in allegations of electoral fraud being probed by the Police.
GECOM Commissioners Vincent Alexander and Desmond Trotman have argued that this is now a conflict of interest.
“What he should do as Minister of Home Affairs is recuse himself from the matter,” Commissioner Trotman told reporters Monday.
Commissioner Alexander accused Benn of having an agenda “long before the elections.”
“He came with this agenda of ethnic balance and the need for GECOM to be cleaned up so that he is now on a trajectory that has nothing to do about elections, a trajectory which he commenced before elections,” Alexander told the media outside of the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.
Benn is a witness in the electoral fraud case having been at the Ashmins Building at High and Hadfield Streets, Georgetown during the incidents on March 5.
The building served as the Office of the Returning Officer for District Four Clairmont Mingo.
As is customary with any investigation, Livan was asked to respond to Benn’s version of events.
When asked how Benn can recuse himself if he can provide evidence on the case, Alexander said the evidence can be given to other PPP Commissioners who served with Benn.
“The fact of the matter is, that Mr. Benn is the Minister of Home Affairs and in the circumstances and the presence of other witnesses including other Commissioners…why do you take the man who is giving the directives to the police force to make him a witness? It is in conflict,” the Commissioner said.
“Someone who is showing their hand outside this matter cannot be someone who objectively comes to the process,” he added.
Benn was replaced by Attorney Manoj Narayan on GECOM; the other PPP Commissioners are Attorneys Sase Gunraj and Bibi Shadick.