PUP candidate denies intimidation, alleges shady dealings at Elections and Boundaries
Thursday, October 15th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: Chief Elections Officer Josephine Tamai has alleged publicly that a registering officer in Benque Viejo Town, center of the Cayo West electoral division, was apparently assaulted by the People’s United Party (PUP) candidate,
Dr. Lesbia Guerra Cocom, and supporters outside the office last week when she was working late and the campaigners wanted to know what was going on. Speaking to News 5 on Wednesday, Dr. Guerra has refuted that assertion.
She confirmed that the entire incident was recorded on video and that the officer was escorted by four police officers and there was no opportunity for such an assault to take place. Dr. Guerra asserted that they were not there to cause disruption and if she was only doing her job, she could have come out and said so.
Dr. Guerra said notice should have been given that the Elections and Boundaries offices would be open beyond normal working hours in the interest of transparency and otherwise the office is perpetrating election fraud.
While she has no evidence, Dr. Guerra asserts that vehicles carrying persons from across the Guatemalan border are arriving daily and these persons may be registered to vote in the election, despite the date for such having already passed. A police officer has given statements to Dr. Guerra confirming that “a lot of paperwork is being done” but he does not understand the nature of it, though he is afraid that registering of electors is being carried out.
Dr. Guerra also reported that she was not given a hearing as to her objection to eight persons registered as voters who she says she verified lived in Guatemala. She was given a date in court, as is the practice, for those objections to be heard, but that never happened. The case was scheduled for Benque’s Magistrate’s Court but was then moved to San Ignacio, just a few miles away.
However, despite contacting the court’s offices they arrived too late, as their mocking rivals told them the cases were already dismissed, confirmed by the sitting magistrate due to their non-appearance. Dr. Guerra calls that very unfair.
Dr. Guerra faces four-term representative and UDP deputy leader Erwin Contreras in the general election.
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