“End the charade” …Jagdeo maintains elections recount can be completed in 10 days

PPP General Secretary, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo
General Secretary of the PPP/C Bharrat Jagdeo

Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo, has urged the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh, to do what is necessary to move the vote recount process forward and utilise all measures to enhance transparency of the process.

During a press briefing today, Jagdeo lashed out at GECOM for the long delays which have prevented the vote recount from moving ahead. He accused the APNU/AFC Commissioners and others within the elections machinery of using “delay tactics”  to frustrate the elections recount.

“The Chairman needs to wake up and take decisive action” to ensure the process moves ahead. She needs to end the charade,” he said.

Jagdeo restated his party’s position, that is; all ten regions could be completed in ten days, starting with District Four.

“Our proposal is clear; she has to be aware that the entire country is waiting on her to move the process forward,” Jagdeo said.

The General Secretary also said that the recount must be witnessed by observers and the political parties.

He insisted that the GECOM personnel involved in the recount process must be independently chosen so as to prevent the process from being compromised.

In order to have the highest level of transparency, he urged GECOM to engage the services of a private audit firm or the Auditor General to be part of the recount process. He also restated the party’s call for the recount to be live-streamed.

Following a series of back and forth between Government and Opposition Commissioners over the past few weeks, Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh, will hand down her decisions on Friday in relation to key issues surrounding the countrywide recount.

Among the crucial decisions the Chairperson will make, include; how many work stations will be utilised and how long the vote recount process will last.

There are 2, 339 boxes which need to be counted.

PPP Commissioner Sase Gunraj, had suggested 60 minutes to count one box while APNU/AFC Commissioner Vincent Alexander had suggested 90 minutes. In his proposal Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, had suggested 120 minutes.

Justice Singh is also expected to meet with the National COVID-19 Task Force before arriving at her decisions.

INews understands that after the GECOM Chair makes these key decisions on Friday, she will then communicate same to the various commissioners via email. The gazetted order could be issued soon after; possibly this weekend.

Since the General and Regional Elections were held close to six weeks ago, a winner is yet to be announced. The majority of observers who scrutinised the tabulation process for District Four have pronounced it to have not been credible.