The computer room in the polling stations during the November 2019 general elections was condemned by Adrien Duval, the defeated candidate of the National Alliance in the Curepipe-Midlands constituency (No. 17). The existence of this IT room was at the center of Adrien Duval’s cross-examination by Me Priye Ramjeeawon-Varma, Assistant Parliamentary Adviser, at the Supreme Court, yesterday.
Responding to Mr Varma’s questions, the applicant stated that on the day of the counting of votes in constituency 17 there were “errors, false votes, irregularities and anomalies”. The candidates of the National Alliance were not aware of what was happening in this computer classroom because they were denied access, he said. For Adrien Duval, on the day of the vote count, there were “counting errors and inappropriate events.”
In the three counting rooms, children’s chairs were given to candidates and other officials. They were embarrassed to follow the count and check the ballots, Adrien Duval explained. It obstructed their vision. While in the other rooms, there were not even chairs for the candidates of the National Alliance and their agents.
Adrien Duval described acts of violence in the schoolyard, provoked by activists of the militant militant movement (MMS), on the day of the count, and which were hostile to him as well as to other candidates and agents of the National Alliance.
“I was insulted by an enemy group, near MSM, in the school yard. Maurice Alliance activists prevented me from getting back in the car. A fight broke out. I did not see a return officer. It was a clear moment of chaos. “ he maintained.
Continuing his story, he said that the police allowed the troublemakers to enter the school yard. “They threatened candidate Michaël Sik Yuen, who was expelled from court. MSM officers approached me to kick me out. The police did not act impartially, “he said, adding that the police could not call Morisian Alliance activists to order. Witnesses who will testify will give the names of the whistleblowers that day, Adrien Duval said.
Answering questions from Me Rishi Pursem, senior advisor, who represents the Election Oversight Commission (ESC), Adrien Duval stated that the situation in the computer room “It was very unusual and strange.” and was opaque and unclear during the vote count.
Adrien Duval reminded that the documents submitted to the candidates of the National Alliance did not mention the existence of a computer room in the counting center. To another question from Me Pursem, Adrien Duval pointed out that a clerk in the computer room told him that “the system had broken down” and that “demonstration done manually “.
I Ivan Collendavelloo, a senior counselor, representing elected members of the Morisien Alliance, told Adrien Duval that there were no complaints to police regarding schoolyard violence. The defeated candidate claimed that there was indeed violence organized by Maurice Alliance activists.
Adrien Duval said that, had there been no irregularities and other errors in the vote count, he would have been elected to third place ahead of Kenny Dhunoo. In her petition, Adrien Duval calls for a recount in constituency no. 17. Judges Iqbal Maghoo and Gaytree Jugesseur-Manna will hear this morning the testimony of witnesses called by the applicant.
Ivan Collendavelloo wanted to strike a blow by showing a photo of the officers assigned to count the votes in the “counting room”. Except this photo was not legal because we were not allowed to take photos in the “counting room”. I Jacques Panglose, Adrien Duval’s lawyer, immediately objected to the presentation of this photograph. The judge accepted the objection. Many are wondering why Collendavelloo’s lawyer believed that he was allowed to resort to illegal proceedings …