FITUG urges GECOM to immediately put measures in place to fast-track recount

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Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Claudette Singh and other Commissioners and officials during an inspection of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.

The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) has called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to urgently put measures in place to fast-track the national recount of votes cast in the March 2, polls in order to meet the proposed 25-day timeline.

“At this time, the FITUG sees the urgent need for the process to be hastened while ensuring that its transparency and credibility are maintained. We believe that the additional stations; the maximization and extension of working-hours; and the streamlining of the process to ensure efficiency and accuracy must be taken on board quickly,” the union stated in a press release.

Following is the full press statement:  

Recount procrastination and sloth inimical to our nation and people

The Federation of Independent Trade Unions of Guyana (FITUG) continues to follow, with great dismay, the slow progress being recorded as it regards the national recount of ballots cast in the 2020 National and Regional elections. With the process now beyond the half-way intended timeline, it is disconcerting to record that about a quarter of the ballots cast have actually been counted.

We gather, from media reports among other things, that the process has been held back by questionable and thus far unsubstantiated allegations regarding the veracity of voters. While these unfounded allegations ought to find themselves an Elections Petitions, they have served to unnecessarily, in our view, lengthen what ought to be a simple and straight forward process. On this score, it is hard for us to dismiss the valid concerns that there appears to be a coordinated, and we daresay calculated, attempt to deliberately staunch the process. This, for us, flies in the face of commitments to have the process concluded in a speedy manner.

The Federation also recognizes that there seems to be little impetus to really alleviate the several bottlenecks that have hamstrung the process with a view to making it more efficient. While calls for more workstations have been recognized, its translation into tangible results has been minimal at best.

Moreover, one would have thought that greater focus would have been paid to Region #4, the largest electoral district, and the one which has attracted the greatest controversy. Expectedly, and rationally, it would have been prudent, we believe, for the additional counting stations to also be focused on Region #4 in an effort to hasten to process. This, however, was not the case inexplicably. Apart from that, we hear about counting stations being unable to fully maximize their working hours which undoubtedly are adding to the delays we are witnessing.

At this time, the FITUG sees the urgent need for the process to be hastened while ensuring that its transparency and credibility are maintained. We believe that the additional stations; the maximization and extension of working-hours; and the streamlining of the process to ensure efficiency and accuracy must be taken on board quickly.

The Federation urges that Elections Commission to engender measures which sees its 25-day timeline adhered to and that the elections impasse reaches finality. Our nation and its people should no longer be held hostage by the absence of credible electoral results. We have several challenges confronting us and we should not continue to be stymied by the absence of a legitimate Government.