Recount must be done “in a matter of days” …Gunraj says country has waited long enough

Commissioner Sase Gunraj

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (rtd) Claudette Singh, today (Wednesday), met with Commissioners and the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, where it was expected that a draft plan in relation to the recounting of the votes cast in the March 2 polls would have been discussed and possibly fined tuned.

However, the draft plan presented by Lowenfield proposes 156 days for the exercise to be completed. This, from the onset raised objections by Opposition Commissioners who believe that the process could be completed within a matter of days.

Following the meeting today, Commissioner Sase Gunraj related that he has committed to reworking the document, including presenting proposals that he has prepared, and will submit same for discussions and possible fine tuning when the Commission meets again tomorrow, (Thursday).

In reference to the 156 days being proposed by CEO Lowenfield, Gunraj said; “We have already waited almost seven weeks, that can’t happen. It will not be allowed to happen…what is required in my view is a count of the votes, simple as that!”.

Gunraj said other Commissioners will also be making their own submissions on the matter on Thursday. “We want to find a workable, working document for the benefit of the Commission and for the secretariat to execute,” he said.

“This has to be done in a matter of days. This country has waited long enough…If the requisite willpower is given, the due diligence is exercised, we could be done with this in short order,” Gunraj said.

Government Commissioners Desmond Trotman, Vincent Alexander and Charles Corbin

Meanwhile, Commissioner Alexander, on his part, said that the CEO’s plan is up for  discussion. He said that Commissioner Gunraj has asked for more time to address the matter and “the system should be allowed to work”.

General and Regional Elections were held on March 2, 2020, and, to date, there has been no declaration of a winner. In fact, the electoral process has been marred by a number of irregularities, which some stakeholders argue are clear attempts at rigging.

There were 479,453 ballots cast at the 2020 general elections.