“We seem to be talking to a brick wall” – Nandlall says recommendations to speed up recount not being implemented

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PPP’s Executive Anil Nandlall

Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Executive and former Attorney General Anil Nandlall, has once again lamented the slow pace of the national recount, saying that most of the recommendations presented by his party to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to fact-track the process, have not been implemented.

“We seem to be talking to a brick wall,” Nandlall said during an interview with the media outside the recount venue – Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCCC) – on Sunday.

“We have made many proposals to GECOM. In addition to the establishment of new stations, we suggested that they put the time to 6:00pm – the cut-off time for ballot boxes to be extracted from the containers. That is not being implemented. One minute after 05:30pm, if a box is finished, that’s the end of the work for that particular station,” Nandlall said.

“We even suggested that they pay a higher remuneration for extra hours of work put in. That has also been ignored. So, we are beginning to form the unfortunate view that there is some deliberate ploy to bring greater sloth to the process, rather than accelerate the process,” he added.

On Tuesday, the addition of two workstations to the 10 being initially used for the recount saw the pace increasing to 76 ballot boxes for that day. The pace then dropped to 71 on Wednesday, but on Thursday GECOM counted 88 boxes.

After Thursday, things started going downhill, as GECOM counted 87 boxes on Friday, 85 boxes on Saturday, and 75 boxes on Sunday. This brings the total number of ballot boxes counted so far to 1124.

However, 1215 boxes remain to be counted, with just six days remaining in the 25-day exercise. According to Nandlall, the most logical conclusion one can draw is that feet are being deliberately dragged.

If the slow pace of the recount continues, there could also be implications for the three-member Caribbean Community (Caricom) team currently observing the recount. Nandlall pointed out that they could not stay in Guyana indefinitely.

According to Nandlall, the PPP will continue to make efforts to have the recount sped up. He noted that it intended to approach GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh today in order to hold her to her promise of establishing more stations.