GECOM officials conducting recount must be trustworthy and fair – Int’l Center for Democracy

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FILE: One of the containers transporting ballot boxes to GECOM

The Following statement was issued by the International Center for Democracy: 

The International Center for Democracy (ICD) along with the ABCE countries, Caricom, international and local observer groups/organisations have been monitoring the sequence of events before and after the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections in Guyana. It has been almost six weeks after the March 2, 2020 Elections – Guyanese are still in limbo not knowing the results and whether or not their constitutional voting rights have been executed in a free, fair and transparent manner to choose their next President and Government.

The tabulation process in the declaration of Region Four has been openly condemned by the ICD, ABCE countries, Caricom, international and local observer groups/organisations as not being free, fair and transparent. There have been several judicial interventions for the courts to determine and provide guidance regarding the recounting of the ballots. All of the courts thus far ruled that GECOM has the constitutional rights and power to act as an independent body to move forward in doing a national recount of all the ballots and to make a final declaration. GECOM has made the decision to proceed in doing a recount of the ballots.

Despite the Judiciary interventions and GECOM taking the next step to move the process forward, the issue of trust in GECOM is still a lingering concern. Individuals within GECOM that were an integral part of the tabulation process knowingly and deliberately made decisions that were biased and not transparent that compromised the validity of the election results – those individuals should be excluded from the recount process. For GECOM to regain the trust of the people, the various political parties, the ABCE countries, Caricom and international and local observer groups, GECOM must be ready and willing to ensure that the staff that will be doing the recount is trustworthy, free and fair and do not have any political affiliation and/or biases.

There is a lingering perception that the Chairwoman of GECOM did not perform her duties that were free, fair and without bias. The ICD demands that the Chairwoman for GECOM, the Honourable Retired Justice Claudette Singh take charge of the recount process and do not allow any of the political parties and staff within GECOM to influence her decision – the ICD will be paying close attention to this.

The ICD demands that GECOM start the recount process as soon as possible without any further delay. The recount process should be free, fair and transparent and for it to be it must be done in the presence of representatives from all competing political parties, Caricom, International and Local Observer Groups. The ICD demands that GECOM televises the recount and tabulation process for the public to view – this will rebuild confidence in the process, the outcome and with GECOM.

Democracy in Guyana must be restored and the people of Guyana must have a President and Government that is democratically elected in a free, fair and transparent manner. The ICD, ABCE countries, Caricom, international and local observer groups and the world at large will continue to monitor the recount and tabulation process of the ballots to ensure that the General and Regional Elections declaration is free, fair and transparent.

Sincerely,

International Center

for Democracy (ICD)