Gaymes not called to testify
Respondent and returning officer Winston Gaymes was not called on to testify during the elections petitions hearing, which ended on Tuesday.
Gaymes, a respondent in the petition regarding the conduct of the elections in the Central Leeward constituency, neither testified, nor was he cross examined during the proceedings.
Lead counsel for the 1st, 2nd and 4th respondents, Douglas Mendes SC, announced on Tuesday that he had called all of his witnesses with the regard to this petition, which put an end to speculation that Gaymes would be giving evidence via Skype.
Gaymes was an anticipated witness for the proceedings, as it was thought that he might have been able to shed light on decisions he was said to have made in his capacity as Returning Officer for the constituency.
One of these is the claim that he counted all the ballots in polling station CLF, even though they did not bear the initials or mark of the presiding officer. The petitioners say that they objected to the counting of the votes, but Gaymes said he was minded to reject all the votes at that time, but it was Exeter and his lawyers who consented to them being counted.
Gaymes said in his witness statement, referenced during court, that he said “what is good for the goose is good for the gander,” in relation to the fact that both candidates received votes from the box.
There is a video taken at the final count in Central Leeward by Maia Eustace (daughter of former leader of the Opposition Arhnim Eustace), during which a statement was made, supposedly by Gaymes, but the audio makes it difficult to hear. The petitioners allege this is Gaymes saying “I did it for both,” whereas the respondents believe it to be “you did not object.” Gaymes may have been asked to clarify this.
He trained the presiding officers in Central Leeward, and it had been said by some presiding officers that he did not use a ballot to demonstrate procedure. The petitioners may have also asked him about his training methods during cross examination.