DAY 52: GECOM pussyfoots on recount; meets again today

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Claudette Singh and other Commissioners and officials inspected the ACCC for a second time on Monday.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), is expected to meet again today (Friday), in another effort to finalise details for the national recount of the votes cast in the March 2 polls.

Despite meeting all day yesterday (Thursday), the Commission has not yet finalised the work plan, including determining the duration of time that would be allocated for the recount process by the Commission.

Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, had submitted a plan to the Commission that would see the recount lasting more than five months, while the PPP’s Commissioners demonstrated in a counter proposal that the activity could be completed in as little as ten days.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander

Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander told media operatives on Thursday that while the Commission has undoubtedly settled on the number of workstations to be used for the recount process in addition to the venue, the time allocation for the recount of each of the 2,339 ballot boxes is yet to be determined.

He said there is a proposal on the table for the Commission to gauge the first day of the recount to determine realistically how long it would take to count each box, and this would set the precedent in determining an approximation for the entire process.

Meanwhile, PPP-nominated Commissioner Gunraj, in lamenting the situation, said the members of the Commission would be resuming its meeting today to finalise the work plan for the activity and the draft order, at which time he would be pushing to have the commission set a fixed duration.

Commissioner Sase Gunraj

According to Gunraj, “I believe that if we set a duration for the process and we take steps to fit within that duration, we can have some process; but if we leave it open-ended, it will be just as that, open-ended and cause issues and cause opportunity to have this process delayed.”

He suggested that the new parameters that have been identified within which the Commission would have to do the recount still puts the duration at beyond a month, which is still unacceptable.

“We need to set a definitive period during which this process will be concluded, and take all the necessary steps to conclude it in that time,” he stated.

It is now fifty-two (52) days after the national elections were held and GECOM is yet to announce a date for the beginning of the recount of the votes.