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Oct 9, 2015

Hanky Panky in the Elections and Boundaries Department?

Election fever has brought with it a flurry of activities, including a ramping up of door-to-door campaigning by the mass parties, as well as their respective candidates.  At the elections and Boundaries offices, public officers are reportedly burning the midnight oil tightening up all the nuts and bolts that make the election machinery run smoothly.  That’s what the Chief Elections Officer tells us. But in Benque Viejo Del Carmen there are allegations that lists are being compromised in the push for the November fourth elections. On Thursday night, P.U.P. Standard Bearer, Doctor Lesbia Guerra, headed to the elections and boundaries office and recorded the departure of an officer late into the night. In the video she queries what the officer is doing at the office late at night. The Officer gets into a police vehicle and drives away. But the version recounted by C.E.O. Josephine Tamai is different and could have happened before the video was recorded.  She says an employee assigned to the local registration office was physically assaulted.  She says the incident happened sometime after ten p.m. while the officer was locked away inside the building doing overtime work.  According to Tamai, despite the presence of an on-duty police officer, her colleague was basically lured out of her workstation and attacked by someone pretending to be a candidate.

 

Josephine Tamai

Josephine Tamai, Chief Elections Officer

“One of my officers was assaulted actually at our Benque Viejo registration office which is responsible for Cayo West.  The officer informed me that while she was working at the office, because as you all will know we are in election period and I will say [that] all Elections and Boundaries offices countrywide, all staff are working beyond normal working hours.  That is what is required of us anytime an election is being called.  As persons know, we have to make the election machinery work, that is our job.  We’re not open to the public at that point.  We work normal working hours in terms of attending to the public, but again I will say [that] all my officers are required to work beyond the normal working hours.  So if officers get two to three hours sleep per night they get a lot at this point in time.  So yes, officers are there and I will continue to say that the officer informed me that she heard a knock on the door because the door was closed, the gate was closed.  The person opened the gates, went into the compound, knocked on the door and because at this point in time we know what is happening, we have police officers at our offices and also patrolling in many areas. In this case, a police officer was with my officer responsible for the Benque Viejo registration office and she thought that, when she heard the knock, she mentioned to me that she thought that it was the police officer patrolling because even though they have an officer stationed there, they have an officer patrolling just to check on them.  And it was at that point when she was confronted by someone from one of the political offices stating that she is a candidate and she wants to know what the officer is doing at that office.  My officer explained to me that she told the person that she was there working, they’re not open to the public and I will tell you, if we were open to the public then nobody would have had to knock on any door.  It was through a burglar bar door that she spoke to the person.  She was aware that she was being recorded.  At that point in time the officer was actually embarrassed or wondering, “Why am I being questioned?”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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