Myers to challenge testimonies at elections inquiry
Public hearings at the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the March 02, 2020 elections will resume next Monday and will likely see lawyers cross-examining witnesses on behalf of former Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO) Roxanne Myers.
The News Room confirmed Tuesday that Counsel from the law firm Hughes, Fields & Stoby has written the secretariat of the CoI, asking to be added to the proceedings so that persons who named Myers in their testimonies can be cross-examined.
When contacted, Secretary to the Commission Javed Shadick confirmed that the letter was received and indicated that the secretariat will respond soon.
He clarified that there are no objections to the request.
“We keep saying all the time whoever wants to come, can come. They can do so with their attorney, it doesn’t matter,” Shadick explained.
Myers has not indicated a willingness to give a statement or take the stand at the CoI just yet. The Commission has not formally invited her either.
Attorney Nigel Hughes, who is representing Myers on several electoral fraud-related charges in the Magistrate’s Court, is expected to represent her interest similarly at the CoI.
Already, several persons gave testimony before the CoI, all implicating Myers in an apparent breach of standard operating procedures. Some testified about her attempts to clear the District Four Command Center of observers and party agents, and her influence over other key election officials and members of the Guyana Police Force.
In a statement two weeks ago, the Commission’s Secretariat acknowledged that as the evidence unfolds in the inquiry, people’s reputations could be injured.
As a consequence, Chairman of the CoI, Justice of the Appeal (retired) of Turks and Caicos Stanley John has made it public that affected persons are entitled to appear before the Commission and be heard if they so desire.
“Anyone who is interested in appearing before the Commission and/or to be represented before the Commission should write to the Secretary to the Commission making that request,” a statement advised.
As the inquiry proceeds, the Secretary of the Commission will write to those persons against whom any allegation of impropriety has been made, setting out the details of the allegations and inviting such persons to appear before the Commission and providing a fair opportunity to such persons to comment on any adverse comment or allegation made against them.
The public hearings in the CoI began on Friday, November 04, 2022, and will last until January 2023.
The CoI is to determine what went wrong during the March 2020 General and Regional elections and who is culpable. The Commissioners in their report expected by March 2023 will also make recommendations for fixing Guyana’s electoral system.