PSC restates call for ‘controversial figures’ to be excluded from recount; says recount should not exceed 10 days

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FILE: Chairman, Captain Gerry Gouveia an other members of the Private Sector Commission (PSC) at a previous meeting

The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has written the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh, asking that “officials who have been publicly identified to have acted in violation of the prescribed legal procedures, namely, Clairmont Mingo and Roxanne Myers”, are excluded from participating in the national recount of votes cast in the March 2 polls, in order to avoid any further controversy.

The PSC has also asked GECOM to ensure that recount process does not exceed ten days. “The Private Sector Commission acknowledge your decision to operate 10 stations during the count but we are concerned that it will take approximately 51 days. We would, therefore, like to place on record that consideration be given to all variables to ensure that the recount does not exceed 10 days,” the PSC said.

Following is the full letter from the PSC to the GECOM Chair: 

April 23, 2020

Justice (Ret’d) Claudette Singh, SC, CCH

Chairman

Guyana Elections Commission

41 High & Cowan Streets

Kingston

Georgetown

Dear Madam Chairman,

We write to express our deepest concerns about the fraud that was perpetrated by the senior staff of Gecom during the region 4 tabulation process which have resulted in protracted legal processes leading to the delay of the official elections results and it is now 52 days since the General and Regional Elections have been held without the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) having concluded the count in District 4 in accordance with the law and in compliance with the decisions of the Chief Justice.

We are pleased that you have kept your word as regards your commitment to conduct a recount of the ballots.

It is imperative though that this count is credible and is concluded in the shortest possible time to enable the Chief Elections Officer to provide the Commission with a credible report of the total count of all the Districts in order for the Commission to declare a final result of the elections.

We write to emphasize the fact that all, without exception, of the Accredited Observers have stated that all that remained to be done was for the count in District 4 to be accurately tabulated and declared in accordance with the law to enable a declaration of the final election result.

We, therefore, urge you to accept the fact that it is only in District 4 that the verification and tabulation of the Statements of Poll for that District has not been completed in compliance with the Representation of the People’s Act.

You may also wish to consider that it is only in District 4 and Districts 3, 5 and 6 that requests were made for Returning Officers of those Districts to grant a recount.

We propose, therefore, that your Commission considers commencing any national recount in those Districts in which a request was made for a recount to be followed by the remaining Districts where there has been no challenge to the accuracy of the tabulated count.

We also urge you, therefore, to implement a system to complete the recount which can be concluded without any controversy and interruption in a fully transparent manner and in the shortest possible time so that an elected government may take office without further delay.

In this regard, the PSC request that the counting process at each station is filmed for live television broadcast and internet streaming to ensure maximum transparency and for viewing by Accredited Observers unable to be present, as well as for the general public.

The Private Sector Commission acknowledge your decision to operate 10 stations during the count but we are concerned that it will take approximately 51 days.

We would, therefore, like to place on record that consideration be given to all variables to ensure that the recount does not exceed 10 days.

In order for the recount to proceed in a credible and transparent manner, we ask that GECOM consider:

All of the contesting parties are represented at the recount and are accommodated in a manner which facilitates their recording and monitoring of the recount at each of the established station.

All of the Accredited International and Domestic Observers are allowed to be represented at all times at the stations established for the recount.

Each ballot, as counted, is made visible to the Party Representatives and Observers.

Challenges to the ballot count, as it proceeds, are permitted as provided for under the law.

Challenges to the ballot count are flagged for further verification at the end of the count.

The GECOM officials who have been publicly identified to have acted in violation of the prescribed legal procedures, namely, Clairmont Mingo and Roxanne Myers, are excluded from participation in the recount in order to avoid any further controversy.

We look forward to your placing these proposals before your Commission for urgent consideration.

Sincerely,

Capt. Gerry Gouveia, AA

Chairman