The Citizenship Initiative calls for clear cut recount plan

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The Citizenship Initiative party on Saturday called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to present a clear cut plan for the recount of votes cast on March 2 and for the process.

The following statement was issued by the party’s leader Rondha-Ann Lam:

“Over the past month, The Citizenship Initiative has refrained from statements in the political arena and focused instead on getting help to the Guyanese most affected by this pandemic.  We believe that food, protective gear and economic assistance should be priorities in the time of a pandemic and we have acted accordingly.

“We have to however put on record our disappointment and disgust over the behaviour of GECOM in general and specifically with regard to the most recent development in the recount saga.

“It is unacceptable that after a relatively smooth process covering nine of the ten administrative regions, the Guyana Elections Commission has not operated in ‘significant compliance’ with its Constitutional mandate to deliver fair, transparent, credible elections in the tabulation of Region Four nor in any of the remedial processes engaged in the wake of Clairmont Mingo’s incompetence.

“The Guyanese people have been treated to postponement of meetings to read judgments that were extremely clear, adjournment of meetings to consider basic documents, the full use of a four-day weekend, and time taken for the creation and adjustment of a recount plan that should have been in place a month ago when the recount was first initiated and a site visit to the same venue that was originally selected for the recount. This all from a Commission that has a statutory responsibility to deliver a final result before the Constitutional deadline of April 30.  No concern seems to be given as well to the fact that a pandemic is growing in this country, one that not only threatens any recount effort but one that needs a legitimate government, credibly elected, in place to deal with it.

“Chair Justice Claudette Singh’s most recent ‘intervention’, one that we had hoped would have provided a definitive way forward, has turned out to be in keeping with the Commission’s behavior as a whole.  Whereas what was needed was a clear-cut plan of action with a definitive administrative strategy, a timeframe for action and assignment of personnel, the public was given a vague document that could be so widely interpreted as to allow a process even longer than the ludicrous 156-day plan originally submitted.

“We are therefore calling for the presentation to the citizens of Guyana, an explicit commitment to a clear plan with set timeframe for a recount, starting no later than Monday 20th April and being completed before or not significantly after the constitutional deadline for a parliament to be in place.”

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