Int’l Center for Democracy appeals to CARICOM to ensure Observers remain until completion of recount

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T&T Prime Keith Rowley (right) with CARICOM Chair Barbadian PM Mia Mottley at a press conference during the two-day visit to Guyana in March

Now that it is clear that the ongoing national recount of the votes cast in the March 2, polls  will not be completed in the 25-day deadline, the International Center for Democracy (ICD) is appealing to CARICOM to ensure that the three-member scrutineering team currently in Guyana to oversee the recount, remains until the completion of the exercise.

The ICD, in a press release today, also asked that CARICOM deploys additional personnel to oversee the recount since it is “virtually impossible for the three observers…to cover twelve workstations; and more importantly provide the oversight needed to ensure that the Region 4 recount is not interrupted or tampered with”.

“Honorable Chairwoman for CARICOM Mia Mottley – CARICOM is Guyana’s last hope. The ICD along with all concerned Guyanese is confident and believes that with additional CARICOM observers in the final weeks of the recount, the recount process will be completed in a free, fair and transparent manner and that the will and wishes of all Guyanese will come through which is to have a democratically elected  President and Government of their choice,” the ICD said in its appeal.

Following is the full release: 

The International Center for Democracy (ICD) along with all Guyanese is reaching out to CARICOM once again to seek assistance as it relates to the recount of the ballots that is currently in progress at the Arthur Chung Convention Center (ACCC) in Guyana. The ICD and Guyana are thankful and appreciate CARICOM for providing three observers to overlook the recount.  CARICOM is aware that the recount process was initially scheduled to be completed within twenty-five days. It is now day fifteen and only 31% of the ballot boxes have been completed.

On May 19, 2020, the Guyana Elections Commission added two more workstations bringing the total number of workstations to twelve. With twelve workstations at an average of seventy boxes being completed daily, this recount process will not be completed until the second week of June at the earliest. More troubling for the ICD and Guyanese is the fact that Region 4 which was the most contentious in the fraudulent tabulation is deliberately being drawn out by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), leaving the majority of Region 4 boxes to be counted towards the end of the process.

The ICD is formally requesting that CARICOM do not withdraw the observers from their mission to Guyana. In addition, the ICD is requesting that CARICOM assign additional observers to oversee the recount. It will be virtually impossible for the three observers that are currently in Guyana to cover twelve workstations and more importantly provide the oversight needed to ensure that the Region 4 recount is not interrupted or tampered with.

The ICD shares the same sentiments of most Guyanese and competing political parties that GECOM and its staff will not be impartial in completing the Region 4 recount in  a free, fair and transparent manner and most important that GECOM, as a whole, is being compromised and being significantly influenced by current APNU representatives.  This notion has been further supported and reinforced by the fact that President Granger has twice refused to grant permission for the Carter Center to return to Guyana as Observers to complete their mission. Very simply – Guyanese have lost trust in GECOM to do the right thing which is to ensure that the recount is free, fair and transparent.

Honorable Chairwoman for CARICOM Mia Mottley – CARICOM is Guyana’s last hope. The ICD along with all concerned Guyanese is confident and believe that with additional CARICOM observers in the final weeks of the recount, the recount process will be completed in a free, fair and transparent manner and that the will and wishes of all Guyanese will come through which is to have a democratically elected  President and Government of their choice.