Vote Recount: Transparency body wants GECOM to provide copies of SORs to all observers

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A ballot box during the recount. [Photo taken from Facebook Page of Shaz Ally]
Transparency Institute Guyana Inc (TIGI) has called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to take urgent measures to ensure copies of the Statements of Recount (SORs), deriving from the ongoing recount exercise, be provided to all observers.

In a letter addressed to Chairperson Justice Claudette Singh, the transparency watchdog said that it is “disappointed” that the Recount Order was not formulated in such a manner to include all the observers as recipients of the SORs.

“TIGI is therefore asking that, since the Order does not expressly deny official issuance of the SoRs to observers other than the CARICOM Scrutinising Team, the courtesy be extended ex gratia,” the letter to the GECOM Chair stated.

Following is the full letter: 

The Chairman

Guyana Elections Commission

Dear Madam Justice Singh,

We wish to express our disappointment at the interpretation of the gazetted order on the Statements of Recount (SoRs) of the recent General and Regional elections to deny the issuance of copies of the SoRs to observers other than the CARICOM Scrutinising Team.

We were indeed disappointed that the gazette order was not formulated to include all the observers as recipients, but to use its wording to deny official issuance of SoRs to them is to diminish transparency in that it does not eliminate the allegation that the party agents have their possibly unfair vested interests.

Whereas observers accredited by GECOM itself should be assumed to have only the interest of fairness of the recount. Reducing observers to have to solicit copies from political party agents also does not dispel that allegation.

TIGI is therefore asking that, since the order does not expressly deny official issuance of the SoRs to observers other than the CARICOM Scrutinising Team, the courtesy be extended ex gratia.

Your sincerely

TIGI Secretary

PS: Some observers would also like to have the option of having tally sheets.