Decision made to recall CARICOM team to “observe” elections recount; Mingo likely to be replaced

GECOM Commissioners; from left, Sase Gunraj, Robeson Benn and Bibi Shadick

Following a meeting by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), today (Monday), Peoples Progressive Party/Civic-nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj told media operatives that it was agreed in principle that Observers would be invited to “observe” the process in order to “validate” the elections recount.

Gunraj said that invitations will be sent to the various persons taking into consideration the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Asked specifically about the Caribbean Community and its role in the process, if any, Gunraj responded by firstly pointing out that it had always been the intention of the Commission to have CARICOM not supervise, but observe the process.

He drew reference to the Aide Memoire that had been inked between the stakeholders in relation to the CARICOM Initiative for a recount and said the word supervise had been loosely used.

Gunraj told media operatives that at the time of the conclusion of the meeting, there had not been any correspondence with CARICOM but said; “I have no doubt in short order an approach will be made to the CARICOM Secretary General with a view of reengaging that team.

Government Commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin

Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander, after the meeting, also told the media that the CARICOM high-level team will be asked whether they are still available to “observe” the recount process.

“We have decided today for our preference in terms of an external body to give some validation, it’s CARICOM,” Alexander said.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Gunraj disclosed too that there is a proposal on the table for consideration to have changes be made at the level of the Returning Officer, specifically Region Four’s Clairmont Mingo.

Region 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo

He explained that the proposal includes having Mingo removed and replaced in addition to other GECOM employees that are considered to be working against the process.

Gunraj did caution that the proposal has not been decided on as yet, and reminded “that it was only District Four that issues arose; in the other nine districts there were no issues that were reported to us that would warrant the request for removal of those persons.”