GECOM Chair promises recount will be completed in a “timely” manner

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GECOM Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield and Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh

Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice Claudette Singh has, on Wednesday, given an indication that a start date for the countrywide recount of votes cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections could be decided soon and the process would be completed in a “timely” manner; possibly by month-end.

Justice Singh made the comments following a site visit which, she and other Commissioners along with Secretariat staff, conducted at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, where the recount is expected to take place.

Justice Singh said she was satisfied with the visit. According to her, the commission will now have to “advise” itself to determine how many workstations it will have for the recount.

The site inspection was supposed to help in deciding how many persons will be allowed during the recount, as well as how many work stations would operate, especially in light of the concept of social distancing.

But there has been concern that because of the pace GECOM is moving, the four-month deadline to reconvene Parliament will be exceeded.

However, Justice Singh, expressed the view that the recount can be completed before the April 30th deadline.

According to her, she does not envision a constitutional crisis if the recount exceeds the four-month deadline.

Importantly, she also sought to dispel any worry that the previous declarations will be used.

The retired Justice noted that once a decision is taken to do a recount, the previous declarations are no longer relevant.

“When we would have gone into the recount stage, we will no longer come back to those declarations,” she said.