In response to a press release issued by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM’s) Public Relations Officer, Ms. Yoland Ward, a few moments ago, former Attorney General, Anil Nandlall noted that the Cheif Justice ordered for a projector to be used in the tabulation process.
The statement reads, “In light of the recent decision to have the remaining Statements of Poll (SOPs) scanned and projected on screen for the Region 4 tabulation exercise, the Guyana Elections Commission has decided to move the exercise from the Office of the Returning Officer to the GECOM Head Office.”
Firstly, the Chief Justice made no recent decision. Today, the Chief Justice simply explained the purport and intent of her Orders. During this explanation, the Chief Justice emphasized on numerous occasions that the Statements of Poll must be the sole basis upon which the votes are added and ascertained and that this must be done openly, transparently and in the presence of the representatives of the Political Parties. Her Honour was informed that at one point in time, a projector was used to project the Statements of Poll against a screen and that process was accepted by all the Political Parties. Her Honour suggested that that process should be resumed.
Secondly, since the Decision of the Chief Justice was granted on the 11th day of March 2020, an Order of Court takes effect from the date and time it is made. Therefore, any process already completed, which does not comply with the Chief Justice’s Orders, more fully explained this morning for clarity, MUST be redone.
Thirdly, the Chief Justice made no mention whatsoever of the use of a scanner, as the scanning of the Statements of Poll, would not have been observed by the representative of the Political Parties and the use of a scanned copy of the Statements of Poll is not what the Chief Justice intended, nor what the law mandates. Both mandate that the Statements of Poll must be the primary source of the data, which is to be ascertained and tabulated.
In the circumstances, we demand the use of the projector, projecting the Statements of Poll, against a screen. That process was used without objection and received the approbation of the Honourable Chief Justice.