GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The OAS Electoral Observation Mission in Guyana, led by the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, is dismayed that despite the ruling of the High Court on March 11, the Guyana Elections Commission was not able to move ahead Thursday, March 12, with the tabulation of the results for Region 4.
The Mission notes that the ruling requires the returning officer or deputy returning officer for Region 4 to comply with Section 84 (1) of the Representation of the People Act in ascertaining the election results for the Region.
This provision stipulates that the returning officer shall, in the presence of the persons legally entitled to attend, which includes the duly appointed candidates and counting agents, add up the votes for each party list in accordance with the Statements of Poll. Aside from the ballots themselves, the statement of poll is the authentic record of the number of votes cast for each party list.
The refusal of the returning officer to demonstrate that the numbers being added up are the numbers that appear on the statements of poll lacks transparency and is cause for grave suspicion. Any declaration issued on this basis is bound to be questioned and the Mission would be obliged to so advise the secretary-general.