“I don’t know what they have to deliberate on” – Nandlall says as GECOM drags out electoral process

PPP/C Executive Member, Anil Nandlall

The Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has upped the pressure on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to identify a definitive timeline for the completion of the electoral process, including, the final declaration of the results for the March 2020 General and Regional Elections.

Speaking to media operatives outside the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC) on Thursday, Executive Member, Anil Nandlall, lamented the fact that although it is close to three months since Guyanese went to polls, the GECOM has still not named a date by which the final results are likely to be declared.

Commissioners of GECOM remain deeply divided over the time that should be spent deliberating on the controversial Observation Reports before delivering a formal election declaration.

“This violates all expectations, it violates all international standards, and it may be violating the law, because the law says when there is a recount, there is a tabulation and there is a declaration of the results…there is no inordinate break in time, it’s a fluid process,” Nandlall told reporters.

The PPP/C had expressed support for a one-week extension to the 25-day timeline to complete the recount exercise and an additional three days for Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, to present his report to the Commission for deliberation.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander

However, Government-aligned Commissioners are reportedly pushing for an additional twenty days for the completion of the recount and the declaration of the final results.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander had told media operatives that the observations must be deliberated on, and that would take time.

He also suggested that GECOM Chairperson, retired Justice Claudette Singh, has signalled an intention to write the relevant authorities with a view to requesting corroborating documentation. This position is, however, vehemently opposed by the political opposition.

Nandlall was adamant that any attempt to morph the recount process into something beyond a numerical ascertaining of the ballots cast on March 2, would be staunchly opposed.

“I don’t know what they have to deliberate on, it’s an arithmetic process. You add and then you come to an answer and then you disclose that answer; nothing else is catered for in a recount process,” the PPP/C agent argued.

“And any attempt to take it beyond that will be ultra vires a recount,” Nandlall declared.

GECOM is expected to meet again today to have discussions and come up with crucial decisions regarding bringing the electoral process to a conclusion.