GECOM maintains it cannot probe claims of voter irregularities at 2020 polls

GECOM maintains it cannot probe claims of voter irregularities at 2020 polls

The Guyana Elections Commission has again shot down calls for it to investigate alleged irregularities which occurred during the 2020 polls.

The Opposition APNU+AFC has been on the forefront of those calls which continue to go unanswered by GECOM.

In a statement today, the Commission also confirmed that it has received a correspondence from the Opposition on the voter fraud claims but it is outside of its mandate to investigate those claims.

“Accordingly, the Commission takes this opportunity to acknowledge that correspondence listing the names of persons who were allegedly either deceased or out of the jurisdiction on the date of the elections were received from the APNU+AFC during the national recount, and sent to the Registrar General and Chief Immigration Officer respectively for verification. However, notwithstanding this action having been taken, GECOM could not have taken any further action in this matter, since to do so would have been in contravention of Article 163 of the Constitution,” GECOM said in a statement.

GECOM quoted Article 163 (1) which states “subject to the provisions of this article, the High Court shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine any question whether – either generally or in any particular place, an election has been lawfully conducted or the result thereof has been or might have been, affected by any unlawful act or omission.”

The Commission said the fact that the national recount had established that more votes were cast in favour of the People’s Progressive Party / Civic (PPP/C), the onus was on the APNU+AFC to file an election petition to determine the validity of the allegations of unlawful acts such as voter impersonation.

“In view of the foregoing, the Guyana Elections Commission is reminding all stakeholders; specifically, Political Parties that the operations of GECOM are and will continue to be guided by the Constitution and the relevant laws for the conduct of registration and elections,” the Elections Commission said.

The Commission pointed out that it has been noting the calls to conduct an internal investigation into the claims but it cannot do so.

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