The Opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), is preparing to write a formal complaint to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), calling for the removal of its Secretariat’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer (DCEO), Roxanne Myers, from the National Recount of the ballots cast during the March 22 General and Regional Elections – currently underway at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC).
Party Executive Anil Nandlall on Sunday gave the Party’s position while on the sidelines of the recount and noted that Myers has been repeatedly implicated as being part of, or at the centre of a number of acts of skulduggery and intimidation aimed at local and international observers.
Speaking with reporters on Sunday, Nandlall intimated that the Party would be formally writing to GECOM’s Chairperson, Retired Justice Claudette Singh
with the request, since the DCEO was, in fact, acting inimical to the interest of the Commission.
He accused the DCEO of encouraging ‘side-shows’ during the recount process in addition to other acts and drew reference to initial decisions to ban the use of cellular phones during the recount and tabulation exercise, but more so, to close off opening any new ballot boxes at 17:00h on a daily basis.
According to Nandlall, it was Myers who unilaterally imposed the decision, which was earlier voiced as a request by Joseph Harmon of the A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) to not use cellular phones.
The decision to close off opening any new ballot boxes at 17:00h was subsequently agreed to by the Commission in order to ensure that staff and other personnel were allowed to leave in keeping with the National Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Task Force diktats.
Nandlall lamented that by not opening any new ballot boxes two hours before the scheduled close of the day’s activities, at least10 boxes were prevented from being counted.
Qualifying his Party’s decision to call for the removal of Myers from the recount process, Nandlall told reporters, “you will recall that Myers was even the subject of critical commentary and condemnation by the international observers and we spoke to GECOM about that”.
Nandlall posited while the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Lowenfield “seems to be behaving himself now, Myers has gone awry”.
The former Legal Affairs Minister under the PPP/C Administration said it was not a case of requesting favours but rather in pursuit of having the process concluded smoothly, “we know that we have won the elections”.
Myers has been at the centre of speculation from the onset. It can be recalled that questions were raised after an incident where Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Karen Cummings had threatened observers to have their accreditation revoked, and moments later, Myers was seen handing her a phone, after which Cummings had left the GECOM Command Centre, which was the Ashmin’s building at the time.
Then, when the agreement was made for a Caribbean Community (Caricom)-supervised national recount, and the ballot boxes were moved to ACCC, Myers had told PPP-appointed Commissioner Robeson Benn to leave, informing him he could not keep watch over the containers.
This led to increased suspicion that she was complicit in a plan to tamper with the electoral process and calls for her to be distanced from the recount.
However, the DCEO’s involvement in controversy is not new.
Following her appointment to the post, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had called her out for partisan tweets which were critical of the PPP, despite being in a position that requires her to act in an impartial manner.