Govt Commissioners at GECOM request time to study Full Court ruling

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The Guyana Elections Commission is expected to meet tomorrow to determine the way forward following the ruling of the Full Court on Monday, which paves the way for a countrywide recount of the votes cast on March 2, 2020.

Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward informed media that “There won’t be a Commission meeting today. The decision of the court will be studied today and the meeting tomorrow.”

INews understands that it was the three government appointed commissioners who requested time to study the ruling – a move which was labelled unacceptable by the other commissioners.

See full statement below:

The ruling of the Full Court of Appeal on 31st March, 2020, discharged all injunctions restraining the Guyana Elections Commission from executing its full mandate.

As a result, any impediment to the conduct of the recount of all ballots cast in the General and Regional Elections 2020, commencing with District 4, as unanimously decided by the Commission  on the 15th March, 2020, has been removed.

We therefore expected Justice Claudette Singh, Chairman of GECOM, to summon a meeting almost immediately to decide on the soonest possible time for commencement of the count and if necessary, to fine tune some of the details.

Instead, an inquiry came from the Chairman’s office regarding our availability for a meeting at 1000 hours on 1st April, 2020. Lo and behold, at 0843 hours of the said 1st April, an email was received in the following terms:

“The Government Commissioners requests that they be given an opportunity to read the decision of the full court, since the purpose of the meeting is to discuss the way forward.  They requested that the meeting be held tomorrow morning instead (the time will be communicated).”

This is unacceptable.

The judgment of the Full Court was broadcast live on national media. The world had access to it. The judgment was pellucid and requires little explanation, if any.

The nation and world anxiously awaits a resolution of this matter that is now one month old.

We recall the numerous occasions on which such stalling measures were employed with the inevitable result being to facilitate some dilatory tactic or the other.

A meeting should be called immediately. There are legal and constitutional remedies for non attendance.

We hope that the local and foreign observers as well as the international community take note of this further attempt to delay the conclusion of the electoral process.

How much longer are we going to allow GECOM to operate to the detriment of the national interest?

Sase Gunraj
Robeson Benn
Bibi Shadick

Commissioners- GECOM.