The Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, retired Justice Claudette Singh has decided to dispose of the 10 District Declarations that were made on the 13th March and has replaced those Declarations with the Certificates of Recount.
In her decision at today’s meeting of the Commission, the GECOM Chair said: “the results of March 13 declarations cannot be used at this time since these were replaced by the tabulation of the votes at the recount which was hailed by all to be a transparent and credible process”.
The March 13 tabulations were not disposed of until now and those tabulations were the ones reportedly used by the Chief Election Officer for his final report on Saturday.
That final report has since been rejected by the GECOM Chair and he has been asked to complete and submit a new report using only the figures from the recount.
Lowenfield had submitted an earlier report using what he determined to be the valid votes only from the recount. That decision came following a Court of Appeal interpretation of the words “more votes than” to mean “more valid votes”. The Court of Appeal’s ruling was thrown out by the Caribbean Court of Justice, which also dismissed Lowenfield’s report.
It was on that basis that Lowenfield was asked to resubmit his report last week. However, he sought some clarifications pointing out that legally the final report could only contain the declarations from the Returning Officers.
Returning Officers were not used for the recount and based on his report, that might have created a hurdle.
But with the declarations by the Returning Officers now completely set aside, the recount numbers may be the only numbers left in play by the Chairman’s decision today.