No final recount plan yet; GECOM to visit Conference Centre Wednesday

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Tuesday failed to agree on the plan for a national recount of votes cast on March 02, but a site visit to the recount venue – the Arthur Chung Conference Centre – Wednesday could move the process along, said Commissioner Sase Gunraj.

The Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lownfield had initially proposed a 156-day timeline for the process, but after further meetings of the Commission, he was expected to present a new plan on Tuesday. But Mr Lownfield and the Secretariat, which runs the elections, had clarifications on various issues.

“We thought we were clear and that those discussions would then translate into an amended document,” Commissioner Gunraj said after Tuesday’s meeting ended.

Sase Gunraj, GECOM Commissioner

Commissioner Vincent Alexander said he thought all the issues were clarified. Alexander said he would “hope and pray” that there could be a plan Wednesday but said he wouldn’t put his head on a block.

The Chair of GECOM, Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh, has written to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) seeking to re-engage them to take up a leading role in the process.

The Court of Appeal had ruled that GECOM could not hand over its supervisory powers to an outside body, but Alexander said the re-engagement of CARICOM will see GECOM leading the process. Alexander was clear that the role of CARICOM would not be as just an observer.

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

While Alexander said while he believed the Secretariat sought the clarity it needed, he could not be sure that the Commissioners will further discuss issues which have already been decided on before a final plan is agreed on.

“I understand the frustration of the nation,” said Gunraj.

Gunraj has proposed the setting up of 20 workstations at the Conference Centre and at the site visit Wednesday he will seek to point out how that could happen using both inside and outside of the facility.

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