Day 48: GECOM Chair restates commitment to see recount through; but still no start date

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice Claudette Singh
Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice Claudette Singh

Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh, has given yet another commitment that she will fulfill the promise made to have the recount of the votes cast in the March 2 polls, and will see the process through.

Following a second site visit, earlier today (Monday), at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) where the national recount is slated to take place, Justice Singh said: “I promised the recount, I made a commitment, and I will see it through”.

The Chairperson was accompanied by other GECOM Commissioners and some members of the National Task Force on COVID-19 to look at health concerns in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. She explained that today’s visit to the ACCC was to ensure that all systems are in put place to guarantee the safety of everyone, including the CARICOM team expected to come here to observe the process.

In relation to how soon the team would arrive in Guyana, Justice Singh said that once all systems are put in place to guarantee their safety, she will communicate same with the CARICOM Secretary General, who will then make the necessary arrangements for the team to travel here.

However, no definitive date has been announced as yet as to when the recount process will commence. “I can’t tell you the start date yet, as soon as all these things are put in place, not long from now,”  Justice Singh said.

Following public outrage over the ‘directives’ given by caretaker Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo in relation to the national recount of votes, a decision was made for the 6PM to 6AM curfew to be relaxed  and for foreigners coming here to observe the process to be pre-tested in their own countries as against being quarantined for fourteen days upon their arrival here.

INews understands that these changes were made following the intervention by caretaker President David Granger and same was communicated to the GECOM head earlier today (Monday).

Members of the CARICOM team are expected to come to Guyana to oversee the recount process 

It has already been over six weeks of controversies and a credible winner for the 2020 General and Regional Elections is yet to be declared. After two declarations from Region Four’s (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, which lacked transparency, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and caretaker President David Granger had agreed to have Caricom oversee the recount.

That agreement was derailed when A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) candidate, Ulita Moore, moved to the courts and secured an injunction against the exercise.

That injunction was discharged by the Full Court and later, the Full Court’s decision was upheld by the Appeals Court. GECOM has since re-invited Caricom, although there is no word on whether they will accept the invitation.