GUAM ELECTION TALLIES CERTIFIED AMID TURMOIL

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By Jojo Santo Tomas

HAGATNA, Guam (November 12, 1998 - Marianas Variety)---The Guam Election Commission yesterday certified the tallies of the gubernatorial and congressional races in a meeting marred by turmoil.

To certify a winner, the Commission must first accept the tabulations of the elections and secondly, must declare a winner.

Both motions require at least four votes of the six members.

Yesterday, the Commission certified the tabulation, but did not declare a winner.

(Democratic incumbents Governor Carl Gutierrez and Lieutenant Governor Madeleine Bordallo received 24,159 votes, or 49.79 percent, of those cast in the election vs. 21,147 and 43.58 percent for the Republican team of Joseph Ada and Sen. Felix Camacho. A 50 percent vote is required for gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates to be declared a winner.)

Members present yesterday included Democratic members Fred Horecky, Rossanna San Miguel, Acting Chairman Joey Duenas, and Republican members Leonila Herrero and Doug Moylan.

Moylan said yesterday that he only showed up to interview subpoenaed precinct officials, and was not aware that a Board meeting was taking place. Duenas said his presence made a quorum, as Herrero was not yet there.

When a motion was made to certify the tabulation, the three Democratic members voted yes and looked to Herrero for a fourth vote. It failed at first.

Moylan then walked out, calling the meeting "a travesty of justice." On the space above his name certifying a need for an emergency Board Meeting, Moylan signed, "Objection."

Yesterday's agenda was not prepared by Board Secretary Margaret Duenas and the GEC staff was not prepared for a board meeting, said GEC Executive Director Henry Torres.

When the Board recessed on Monday, they agreed to recess until noon yesterday. However, notices were sent out yesterday morning informing the media and public that the meeting was postponed until noon today.

"The meeting they had today was illegal," Commission Board Chairman Joe Mesa said. "They are trying to do something illegal. We gave notice to the public that the meeting was tomorrow, not today."

Mesa said he only knew of a meeting today when he heard it on the radio. He showed up later to the Commission office and gave a public statement.

A quick survey of media representatives from K-57, KUAM, Pacific Daily News, KTWG and Hit Radio 100 confirmed that all received releases that the meeting yesterday was postponed until today.

Duenas said meeting cancellations are at the discretion of the Board, not the staff.

The Board is scheduled to meet at noon today to certify the results of the 25th Guam Legislature, but Mesa said he will question the validity of yesterday's meeting.

For additional reports from the Marianas Variety, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Marianas Variety.

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