UDP Demands Recount in Punta Gorda Municipal Elections Amid Allegations of Fraud

UDP Demands Recount in Punta Gorda Municipal Elections Amid Allegations of Fraud

The United Democratic Party (UDP) is demanding a recount of the ballots cast in the Punta Gorda Municipal elections.  A legal claim was filed last week by the UDP Candidate, Franklin Polonio against the declared winner, Carlos Obeah Galvez and the Chief Elections Officer, Josephine Tamai.  In the claim, Polonio stated that, ‘on the night of the election … there were some discrepancies as it pertained to the ballots submitted which ultimately declared (Galvez) as the elected Mayor for Punta Gorda’.  Polonio furthered in the claim that, ‘in the initial counting of the votes, it was noted that (he), Polonio was in the lead against (Galvez), and that ‘upon the recounting of the ballots there was a considerable decrease in the ballots allocated to him, and an increase in the ballots allocated to (Galvez).  He added that, ‘upon closure of the lengthy election night and revision of the said ballots, after counting had come to a close, he (Polonio) was told that there were several ballots that were deemed void, and/or not bearing an official signature.  Polonio surmises that, ‘with the considerable quantity of ballots deemed void it leads to speculation that there was fraudulent destruction of what would have been considered valid ballots’.  Interestingly, while Polonio is alleging that something went awry in the recount, Galvez’ account of what happened is in stark contradiction.  Here is how Galvez explained it on March 9; three days after the election.

Carlos “Obeah” Galvez, PG Mayor Elect: “At one point because they were talking about whether the numbers were correct and around the table several different – this is one unique election you had five mayoral candidates running and every candidate had their representative out there and what happened around that table everybody had a different number so obviously something was wrong and we argued and argued I believe at certain point when the returning officer decided to intervene nad said well what is the discrepancy and we said well I believe that other representative agents count ballot that was rejected and we argued and argued until we said well we’re not making no headway then let’s recount. It was already late, I guess some people fell asleep around the table but our agents’s eyes were opened and we argued and we got a recount and we count and it was in our favor. As a matter for clarity, at no point, at no point the UDP mayoral candidate nor the councilor candidates were leading. Every step of the way we were leading. Initially when we counted the area where we believed should have been a UDP concentrated area those two boxes that’s polling area in PG 111 and 112 A we won those two areas handsomely almost by ninety votes and that is a UDP concentrated area. We were already winning but my killer instinct always drives me to say never give up a vote, you argue for that vote even if – so if you’re at ninety and you have ten ballots questionable you would want to win all those ballots so you want to give your opponent a whipping so the idea is to argue for the ballot so your numbers increase.”

Love News has reached out to Galvez for comment, but he has declined, based on legal advice.  We will continue tracking the developments on this issue.

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