Supervisor of Elections Sylvia Findlay. (iWN file photo)

Supervisor of Election Sylvia Findlay-Srubb on Friday said she is not responding to any questions from the media even as Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace has accused her of flouting the nation’s election laws and say that he will ask the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to bring charges against “certain election officers”.

“Mr. Eustace made a national address on Wednesday–” iWitness News was telling Findlay by telephone on Friday, when she said: “Mr. Chance, I am not responding to anything from any journalist. I have nothing to say. Regardless so what the question is. I don’t even want to hear it.”

Lawyers acting for the opposition New Democratic Party (NDP), which Eustace leads, will ask DPP Colin Williams to issue fiats for the institution of criminal prosecutions of “certain election officers who were responsible for the counting of the votes contrary to section 40(f) Representation of the People Act,” Eustace said in a national address on Wednesday.

In his address, Eustace accused Findlay-Scrubb and Returning Officer for Central Leeward in the December 2015 general elections, Winston Gaymes, of having “acted fraudulently in conducting the elections such that the general elections of 9th December 2015 were a travesty and a sham”.

Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN file photo)
Leader of the Opposition, Arnhim Eustace. (IWN file photo)

“In the instance of Mrs Findlay-Scrubb, her attempt to change her sworn testimony in relation to the general elections further implicates the conduct of the elections,” Eustace said.

He was referring to changes that Findlay-Scrubb asked to be made to sworn statements that she submitted in response to two election petitions filed by the NDP, challenging the results of the vote in Central Leeward and North Windward.

“As for Mr. Gaymes, he is no less accountable, for he confesses in his said affidavit sworn to the 21st December 2015 that he committed a grave election offence repeatedly,” Eustace said.

He noted that under Rule 40(1) of the House of Assembly Election Rules,

“Any ballot paper … which does not bear the official mark; …shall subject to this rule be VOID AND NOT COUNTED.”

However, Gaymes said in a sworn statement to the court that when I opened the ballot box CLF, he “discovered that the ballots in this specific box did not have the initials of the presiding officer nor any official mark on the ballots. As a result, I stated that I was minded to reject all the votes in this specific box.

“Mr Exeter and his lawyers however indicated to me that they were not objecting to the ballots and consented to all the votes in box CLF being counted. That is the time and occasion I said “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”. I meant that Mr Exeter’s consent was the right thing to do as both candidates would receive and in fact received votes from this box.

“I therefore counted the ballots in box CLF…”

“The thrust of Mr Gaymes’ 16th paragraph is that he knew that he ought to reject the ballots. Mr Gaymes, much like this administration, acts with such impunity that he plainly states that he broke the law,” Eustace said.

Returning Officer for Central Leeward in the December 2015 general elections, Winston Gaymes
Returning Officer for Central Leeward in the December 2015 general elections, Winston Gaymes

Eustace said that section 40 of the RPA, which speaks to “Offences by Election Officers”, says, “Any election officer who … wilfully counts any ballot paper as being cast for any candidate, which he knows or has reasonable cause to believe was not validly cast for such candidate, is guilty of an offence and liable, on conviction on indictment, to prison for two years.”

“I conclude therefore that Mr Gaymes has confessed to and did in fact commit an election offence. Such a conclusion is not only reasonable but inescapable.

“But it does not end there. The respective election officers at the CLF and CLF1 polling stations counted those invalid ballots too. I submit therefore that they too have repeatedly committed the election offence,” Eustace said.

He also said that Central Leeward election clerk, Clyde Robinson, did not comply with the rules.

“In their concerted efforts to hide the truth of the final count from the Vincentian electorate and to prevent the public from confirming whether in fact there has been a perversion of the democratic conduct of the elections, I can only conclude that Messrs Gaymes and Robinson are wilful in their manifest non-compliance and illegalities,” Eustace said.

Eustace said Gaymes “should and does know the rules governing the process by which the successful candidate is determined”, noting that Gaymes has worked with the Electoral Office intermittently over the past 40 years.

Eustace noted that the 2015 vote was the second consecutive general election that Scrubb, has headed.

“She too, should and does know the rules governing the conduct of the elections,” he said.

9 replies on “Elections chief has ‘nothing to say’ about opposition’s latest allegations”

  1. I would love to know the Comrades take on this so perhaps Vinciman as the appointed repeater of lies would you please tell us.

  2. C. ben-David says:

    1. To me, this shows how dunce (rather than skampish) these election officers are.

    2. Whether the ballots in the two suspect boxes were counted or not, the outcome would have been the same.

    3. If the courts uphold the petitions and a new election in Central Leeward called, the ULP will win again because they will easily be able to outspend, out bribe, and out campaign the hapless NDP. Alleged vote rigging on polling day is the least of the NDP’s problems.

  3. Something is rotten in SVG and its certainly not the Fish. Only in Countries like SVG and it Socialist Friends, such as Venezuela can these acts happen and go unpunished. The S.O.E has shown she is not fit to serve, but then look at her Master, who has single handily destroy a Country, while her citizens just standby and watch.

  4. C. ben-David says:

    It is quite in order for Ms. Findlay to keep her backside still about an issue that is before the courts.

    Eustace, on the other hand, can’t stop mouthing off about an issue that his very political life depends on.

  5. Mr. Gaymes should end up in prison, but SVG at present is not a normal country in the sense of “the punishment fitting the crime” . We have had people that thief 1/4 million dollars from the people and after the court case they not only did not go to prison, they ended up with 10,000 extra in the pocket! Some go to jail for an expired license, but are commended for discharging a firearm in a public place. Some that have a licensed firearm in a public place are branded as criminals. Once, a boy that repeatedly stole bicycles was given a free bicycle by the courts!…Only in SVG.

    1. This whole thing comes like something from a fiction book, but unfortunately it’s the real deal and for the love of Christ I can’t understand why the Citizen of SVG are so silentl on these matters, there should be mass protest in Baggah, where this scenario took place. Don’t Vincentian realize what is being done, will affect their children for decades to come.

    2. C. ben-David says:

      If we sent our people to prison for any or all of the seven deadly sins (hubristic pride, greed, lust, malicious envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth) or the three non-deadly sins of ignorance, stupidity, and incompetence, most of us would rot in jail.

      Winston Gaymes is surely guilty of several of the above, but he is innocent of maliciously and willfully stealing the December 9, 2015 election on behalf of the ULP if only because he did not have the skills or motivation to do so.

      At the end of the day, it will be clearly shown that the NDP lost the election because of a combination of hubristic pride (assuming they could not possibly lose), malicious envy (of the Comrade’s three previous wins), sloth (a lazy ground game), ignorance (of how to win over the people, especially the youth), stupidity (in being outsmarted at every twist and turn by the Comrade), and incompetence (by running a poorly organized and funded campaign using washed out or second rate candidates).

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