GECOM Secretariat doesn’t have ability to investigate forged signatures on nomination lists -says CEO

GECOM Secretariat doesn’t have ability to investigate forged signatures on nomination lists -says CEO

Chief Elections Officer Vishnu Persaud this afternoon said while the Elections Commission is moving full steam ahead with its plans for the 12th June Local Government Elections, the Commission is in no position to investigate the reports of persons and parties using forged signatures on their nomination documents.

Speaking to News Source on the at the Office of the President this afternoon, Mr. Persaud said while he has seen reports in the media, the Elections Commission has not received any official report about the cases of candidates using forged signatures and unauthorized nominations for the upcoming elections.

“Nobody has come forward to say that somebody has forged my signature and even if they did, we do not have the wherewithal to investigate those things, we have no authority to go and investigate those things. What may be the case is that those things may have to be reported to the Police as a fraud or forgery, but the Secretariat would not be in a position to engage the Police because we don’t have the facts”, he said.

A number of persons have publicly come forward disputing their signatures and nomination support for candidates of the People’s Progressive Party. In one case, PPP General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo was forced to apologise to a Berbice family after their dead mother’s name appeared as a nominator for one of his party’s candidates. In another case, a New York based Guyanese man who has not been home for the past two years, has also called out the PPP over his name and a forged signature being attached to the nomination list of one of its candidates.

The Chief Election Officer indicated that there is a process that could be followed to address such issues.

“They would have to give us something in writing to substantiate the claim that there was a misrepresentation of their name on the list, and on that basis, we would inform the representative of the concerned list and say that your list is now in defect and you are required to come forward and make corrections”, he explained.

He said a number of parties and candidates have been contacted about various issues regarding their lists and those defects have been addressed. The APNU has been pressing the Elections Commission to seriously look into the issue and have the concerns addressed.

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