Executive member and counting agent of APNU, Aubrey Norton, has described the report submitted by the three-member CARICOM team as being riddled with contradictions.
The team concluded in its report after admitting to only having scrutinized 18% of the ballot boxes (423 of 2,339 boxes), that the outcome of the report was “reasonably credible.” This is in contrast to the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, who said in his report that the elections did not satisfy the criteria of fairness and impartiality considering the numerous anomalies. Therefore, the elections cannot be described as free and credible.
“I was involved throughout the process and all that emerged was fraud,” Norton stated.
While the CARICOM team highlighted the credibility of the elections, the report further stated that “the team found it disturbing that in work station 8 on Saturday, June 6, 2020 in ballot box number 4730, 16 clearly marked ballots which had been cast for the APNU+AFC party list of candidates on March 2, 2020, were erroneously added to the ballots cast for the PPP/Civic list of candidates and found by the work station staff at the recount.”
The report further stressed that “we cannot fathom why this may have been erroneously done without perhaps pointing to some deliberate malice and or mischief.”
Norton is of the view that the conclusion of the report by the team may have been influenced by the comments made by incoming CARICOM Chairman, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
The CARICOM report “is self-contradictory. It argues for a total revamp of the GECOM system because it is not geared to manifest the will of the people and then they concluded that the elections manifested the will of the people,” Norton stated.
He further questioned, “how can it be reasonably credible when thousands of votes were impacted by the absence of documentation.” Norton who played a critical role in the recount process said that the report by CARICOM is claiming that the recount was merely a numerical one when in fact that the gazetted Order states it is an audit of votes cast.
He said it is “utterly strange” especially since it was CARICOM who asked for a gazetted order but in turn violated the very order they were guided by.
According to Norton, the only report that deals with the recount process in its entirety is the report compiled by the Chief Elections Officer.