Gilgeous to produce more documents for elections petition

Guyana Chronicle
June 26, 1999

RETURNING Officer for Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice) during the 1997 balloting, Joseph Gilgeous yesterday undertook to produce more documents when the elections petition hearing continues Tuesday.

Senior Counsel Peter Britton, for petitioner Esther Perreira, made the request of the witness after the official admitted that he had forwarded a summary to the Elections Commission containing information not included in his tendered report.

Britton was continuing to question Gilgeous about the documentation the witness said were duplicates when other Senior Counsel Doodnauth Singh, representing respondent Chief Elections Officer Stanley Singh, interjected to explain that the originals would be with the (CARICOM) Audit Commission.

"This Court can make an order compelling that body to release the documents," Britton quipped.

Gilgeous acknowledged there were SOPs which appear to have been signed by polling agents instead of by Presiding Officers as stipulated.

The witness said there were duplicated SOPs and a number of others from different polling places that apparently bore the signatures of the same agents.

As Britton switched his line of questioning, Gilgeous said, although he is a part-time employee of the Elections Commission earning $55,000 a month, his take home pay from that job is more than that from his substantive post which pays $60,000 monthly.

The lawyer Singh interrupted again to enquire why Britton was pursuing that type of cross-examination and the answer was:"I am trying to establish bias."

On the resumption yesterday, Mr Saphier Husain, himself a respondent as List Representative of his National Independence Party (NIP), asked Gilgeous why the legible typewritten copy of his compilation was less voluminous than the one rejected as illegible.

The witness replied that the typing was done on two different typewriters.

In this case, Perreira, a People's National Congress (PNC) supporter of Lot 75 South Sophia, Greater Georgetown, is challenging the validity of the 1997 elections on the ground that the process was so flawed the outcome cannot be said to accurately reflect the will of the electorate.

She wants Justice Claudette Singh to invalidate the results and has cited President Janet Jagan of the People's Progressive Party/Civic governing alliance and PNC Leader Desmond Hoyte among the List Representatives of contesting political parties.

But, all the politicians named, except Hamilton Green of A Good and Green Guyana (AGGG), have pledged to abide the ruling in this instance.

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Guyana: Land of Six Peoples