Govt Commissioners at GECOM press for ‘more time’; decision on recount expected tomorrow


See full statement from GECOM:

Consequent to the decision of the Full Court on 31st March, 2020, the Guyana
Elections Commission met today, 2 nd April, 2020 to discuss the way forward to conclude the electoral process.

In this regard, Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh provided a brief background on the Court proceedings and explained that the contempt matter brought against her has not concluded but has been shelved due to her giving an undertaking to conduct a full national recount of all votes cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections at the level of the Commission.

In light of the foregoing, Justice Singh requested for the Commission to discuss the possibility of the recount within the framework of the law.

However, opposition nominated Commissioners expressed the view that the Commission did approve to have a recount supervised by Caricom and that there is nothing that precludes the Commission from moving ahead in this regard now that the Court has paved the way for GECOM to finalize its deliberation to operationalize the recount.

Commissioner Benn moved a motion in this regard but which he has since withdrawn.

Government Commissioners contended that though the Court has discharged all the injunctions, it would be necessary for there to be some legal guidance for the Commission to conduct a recount since the Court has refrained from issuing any directions on the way forward.

A motion was subsequently tabled by Commissioner Alexander for the Commission to consider the report of the Chief Election Officer (CEO) on the results of the Elections.

However, Justice Singh explained that she would be unable to allow the CEO to present his report at this point in time since a contempt motion brought by the People’s Progressive Party restrains her from so doing. In relation to this matter, she had given an undertaking to the Court to facilitate a recount at the level of the Commission.

Against this backdrop, a request was made for additional time by Commissioner Corbin for legal guidance to be sought on the matter.

The Chairperson acquiesced and the meeting was adjourned and will reconvene on 3rd April, 2020 at 10:00hrs where a decision is expected.