PPP recommends quota system for counting stations; urges GECOM to name “definitive end-date” for recount

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Representatives of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C), earlier today, met with Commissioners of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), where they presented a number of recommendations aimed at seeing the national recount of votes cast in the March 2, polls are completed in a transparent and expeditious manner.

Providing a brief update to the media outside the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), Presidential Candidate, Dr Irfaan Ali, who led the team, said that all of the recommendations directly relate to the Commission taking urgent steps to speed up the recount process.

Ali told the media that his party wants GECOM to name a “definitive end-date” for the recount exercise.

While indicating that it would be impossible to meet the proposed-25-day timeline due to the slow pace at which the recount is being carried out, Ali related that his party will support the Commission taking NOT more than one week outside of the proposed deadline, to complete the exercise.

“We asked GECOM to rework the schedule; within the present context, so that we can determine a definitive end-date” Ali disclosed.

He said the PPP also restated its position during the meeting, that there is urgent need for additional counting stations to ensure the process is fast-tracked in order to be finished one week outside the 25-day timeline.

These additional stations, he said, must be “properly allocated”. On this basis, Ali pointed to Region Four; which is the largest electoral district.

“More than 40 percent of the boxes remain are those from Region 4…the workstations need to reflect the current situation,” Ali argued.

The team further recommended that GECOM implements a quota system which would see each counting station being allocated a certain number of boxes, which it must complete before closing operations for the day.

Another issue raised was in relation to staff welfare. The team recommended that GECOM properly compensates all staff involved in the recount, “as an incentive”, so that they would work beyond the regular hours to achieve the target set to complete the recount.

Ali pointed to the GECOM Chair’s initial target of one hundred boxes per day, saying; “it is clear that even with the two additional stations much more is needed if you are to achieve the target of 100 boxes.”

Another recommendation was for the Commission to work with CARICOM to accommodate an extension of the 25 days that would allow the scrutineering team to remain until the end of the recount.

Commissioners met following the engagement with the PPP where the list of recommendations by the party was discussed.