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The A Partnership for National Unity and Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) has informed the Police Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) has summoned Ms. Carol Smith -Joseph to appear Friday. Smith-Joseph is the Opposition Chief Scrutineer, Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
In a statement today the coalition said Smith-Joseph was on Wednesday advised to visit the SOCU office but was not provided the reason why she should. According to the coalition the summoning of Smith-Joseph by the Police is a violation of her basic human rights as a law-abiding citizen, an abuse of police powers, and evidence the police has become a tool of the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) political victimisation and intimidation.
Last Friday Smith-Joseph, represented by attorney-at-law, Mr. Roysdale Forde SC, filed two ‘Urgent Fixed Date Application’ asking the Court for declarations GECOM has violated several sections of the Local Authorities Act in the preparation of Local Government Elections (LGE) which is scheduled for March 13, 2023. Further, the applicant is asking the Court to render the Register of Voters List for LGE null, void and of no legal effect if GECOM does not comply fully with the Act. In exhibits presented to the court, and seen by Village Voice, names of deceased persons are still on the list and names of persons who are no longer in the local authority area are still on the list in the specific local authority.
The APNU+AFC statement follows: –
APNU+AFC Coalition would like to inform the public that its Chief Election Scrutineer, Ms. Carol Smith-Joseph, was instructed yesterday to report to SOCU on Friday morning, 9th December. Ms. Smith-Joseph was not provided with any reasons for the summon. The Coalition calls on citizens to condemn this action as intimidatory, politically-driven and, therefore, totally unacceptable.
As the Opposition’s Chief Election Scrutineer, Ms. Smith-Joseph has been on the forefront of our struggle for credible elections, inclusive of a clean voters list. On Friday, 2nd December, she filed an application asking the court for declarations that GECOM violated several provisions of the Local Authorities (Elections) Act in the preparation of the List of Electors for the Local Government Elections. As the public is aware, the court action immediately forced the CEO of GECOM to propose that GECOM take several corrective actions.
The summoning of Ms. Smith-Joseph by the Police is a violation of her basic human rights as a law-abiding citizen. It is an abuse of police powers. SOCU obviously has become a tool of PPP political victimization and intimidation. SOCU can better serve the citizens of Guyana by redirecting its efforts to investigating the blatant corruption and criminality in high government offices, starting with Su-gate.