Controversial CARICOM member supervising Guyana election results
A Caribbean Community (CARICOM) High Level Team is now in Guyana supervising the recounting of ballots from the March 2, 2020 elections.
One of the 5-member team is Chief Elections Officer (CEO) of the Election and Boundaries Commission (EBC) of Trinidad and Tobago, Ms Fern Narcis-Scope.
Mrs. Narcis-Scope is a controversial figure like Guyana’s Keith Lowenfield. They both hold the same position in their respective elections supervisory administrations.
Narcis joined the EBC in 2010. As a contract legal officer, her promotion to the CEO on September 17, 2017 was marred in controversy. It was challenged by attorneys Kent Samlal and Abdel Mohammed acting on behalf of Lena Sahadeo, the Deputy CEO.
Having 24 years’ experience, Sahadeo believed that she was more qualified and experienced for the position, and that Narcis was her junior. It was believed that Narcis had links with the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), but this was denied by the EBC.
When it lost the elections in 2015, the Opposition UNC, led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar, challenged and the EBC in court. Narcis was the EBC’s senior legal adviser.
The challenge was based on the sudden decision of the EBC to extend the time for voting from 6 pm to 7 pm throughout the country without any official notification to the UNC and its constituent parties.
The UNC lost its case but the Court ruled that the EBC’s decision to extend the polls by one hour was wrong. Chief Justice Ivor Archie said that while the EBC did exceed its power by extending the voting time, it was not so outrageous a breach to declare the election result null and void.
As the EBC’s then-senior legal adviser, Narcis’s judgement and integrity are questionable. She is now further compromised by being an arbitrator in GECOM that is ignoring a court injunction that credible election results must be based on the verification of the Statements of Poll (SOPs), not on the recount of the ballots.
I call on CARICOM to revoke the appointment of this controversial figure from its supervisory team NOW.
Trinidad and Tobago
Telephone 868 645 1039
16th March 2020