OAS offers official observers for national recount of votes

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The Organisation of American States (OAS) says it is willing to provide official observers for the national recount of votes cast on March 2 as decided by GECOM Chairperson retired Justice Claudette Singh on Friday.

Secretary-General of the OAS, Luis Almagro posted on Twitter Friday that the recount is integral and an important step to grant legitimacy to the general and regional elections held one month ago.

“OAS General Secretariat supports GECOM decision to carry out an integral recount in Guyana. It’s an important step to grant legitimacy to Guyana Elections & we hope the process encounters no obstacles,” Almagro said when he retweeted the News Room article on the recount.

The Secretary-General said that the OAS, which consists of 35 member states, offers support of its official electoral observers.

The OAS sent an electoral observer mission to Guyana led by former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding, however, the team withdrew following the non-transparent declarations of vote case in Region Four –the largest electoral district.

The team said the process in District Four was not transparent and is unlikely to produce a result that is credible and is able to command public confidence, adding that the legitimacy of any government that is installed using the results, will be open to question.

The OAS Secretary-General in Friday’s post also recognised the work of CARICOM in the local elections.

The Chairperson of the Caribbean Community and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Motley had visited Guyana along with four other regional Prime Ministers following the concerns raised about the electoral process, in an effort to broker an agreement between the nation’s two leaders.

President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo had agreed on a national recount supervised by a CARICOM team which was flown into Guyana but following an injunction to block the recount, the team left. 

The CARICOM Chairperson has since said the team can return once the process can be completed.

GECOM is deciding the logistics for the recount which is expected to start next week.

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