GECOM Chair to hand down crucial vote recount decisions on Friday

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Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice Claudette Singh

Following a series of back and forth between Government and Opposition Commissioners over the past few weeks, Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice Claudette Singh, will hand down her decisions tomorrow (Friday) in relation to key issues surrounding the countrywide recount of votes cast in the March 2nd polls.

Among the crucial decisions the Chairperson will hand down, 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.

Commissioner Sase Gunraj

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 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.

GECOM itself had come in for much of the criticisms, with repeated attempts being made by Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to subvert the process going unchecked by the Chairwoman.

Despite Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh promising that she would facilitate a recount of the votes, attempts to have the recount done at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre never took off because of delays, more controversy and ultimately, a member of the coalition party securing an injunction from High Court Judge Franklyn Holder against the exercise.

The injunction was then thrown out by the Full Court and the Appeal Court upheld this decision, leaving the way clear for GECOM to conduct its recount and finally determine a winner of the elections.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander

But when given a chance to draft a proposed plan for the recount, Lowenfield drafted one that said the recount would last 156 days.

After a firestorm of criticism, Lowenfield was ordered to return to the drawing board and revise his proposal taking into account the plan provided by PPP Commissioners.