GECOM to meet again at 2PM

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The seven-member Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will be meeting again at 14:00h (2PM) today to continue discussions on the way forward regarding the protracted electoral process.

The Commission met at 10:00h this morning. INews understands that Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield was expected to submit his report 10:00h today when the meeting commenced but failed to do so.

He was written to do so by GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, since Thursday following the decision by the Appeal Court.

During this morning’s meeting, however, government-nominated Commissioners requested that the Chair engage the two leaders – Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and caretaker President David Granger – given the ongoing impasse.

Justice Singh agreed to the request and the meeting was adjourned.

However, Jagdeo has indicated that he would only speak on governance issues after a declaration is made.

Meanwhile, Granger requested time to consult with his party hence the adjournment to later this afternoon.

This publication was told by a GECOM Commissioner that the CEO has indicated that he has a report to submit to the full Elections Commission.

At GECOM’s last meeting, Lowenfield was given a final chance to submit his report based on the recount figures otherwise this responsibility would be handed over to the Deputy CEO, Roxane Myers.

However, before Lowenfield could have presented that report, legal proceedings were field by APNU/AFC supporter, Misenga Jones, who was seeking to block GECOM from using the recount results to declare a winner of the March 2 elections.

But that application was dismissed by Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George, who ruled on July 20 that the figures from the national recount must be used for the declaration of the elections results and also discarded the initial declarations made by the 10 Returning Officers (ROs).

This decision was subsequently appealed however the Court of Appeal on Thursday last unanimously upheld the Chief Justice’s ruling.

These decisions by the local courts are consistent with the July 8 judgement of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) – Guyana’s apex court.

The 33-day recount exercise shows that PPP/C with a landslide victory of 233,336 votes while the caretaker Coalition obtained 217,920 votes – a difference of some 15,416 votes.