GECOM seeking “legal guidance” before recount begins

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says it is seeking “legal guidance” before it embarks upon the process of a countrywide recount of the ballots cast during the country’s General and Regional Elections held on March 2, 2020.

The national recount will be conducted under the supervision of a high-level delegation from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), following a request by President David Granger and an agreement by the Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo.

The high-level team arrived in Guyana on Saturday night. It was expected that the recount would have started on Monday at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, but that did not occur.

Ballot boxes are already being moved to a central location.

It was agreed that the recount will start with Region Four (Demerara Mahaica), since it is a contentious district.

See full statement from GECOM:

The Guyana Elections Commission is in receipt of a copy of the Aide Memoire signed by H.E. President David Granger and the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Bharrat Jagdeo and witnessed by the Caricom Secretary-General, H.E. Irwin Larocque.

As a consequence, the Commission is currently examining the legal ramifications of this agreement in accordance with the Constitution of Guyana.

While the Commission has considered the proposal and has implemented systems for the operationalization of the exercise; as a safeguard mechanism, it is necessary for all the legal issues to be properly addressed including the gazetting of the process as requested by the high level Caricom delegation.

Once finalized, the counting would commence immediately.

The outcome of the Commission’s decision in this regard would be communicated and adequate notice on the start time for the exercise would be provided.