14 ballot boxes counted by noon as GECOM meets to address mounting concerns

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Just after noon on Thursday, some 14 ballot boxes were processed in the ongoing national recount exercise which commenced on Wednesday.

On the end of the first day, 25 boxes were processed with stakeholders going into day two with high hopes that the process will move faster with fewer objections.

But that does not seem to be the case as the Guyana Election Commission (GECOM) is currently meeting to address fresh concerns surrounding claims of a secret meeting and issues relating to the tabulation process.

APNU+AFC agents Thursday morning claimed that there was a secret meeting between People’s Progressive Party agents and staff of GECOM.

But several party representatives have since claimed that there is no truth to the allegations.

GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward said she launched her own investigation into the allegations and could not understand the logic.

“I don’t understand how such large space like the doom where the tabulation will take place in the presence of several persons become a private space.”

Ward said the Commission will deliberate on this during the meeting and will address it after.

Also up for deliberation are calls for the Commission to consider continuous tabulation of the ballots rather than tabulating when each district is completed.

Strongly advocating for this was ANUG’s, Timothy Jonas. He believes continuous tabulation will help to make the process more transparent as provided for in the legal order.

Section 7 of the order states: The result of the general and regional recount of each ballot box shall be recorded as provided for on a Statement of Recount upon the completion of the recount of each box.

“My view that the statements of recount be tabulated on an ongoing basis so that everyone can see and publish as generated… the way to be transparent is to have each ballot box counted and go to tabulation on an ongoing basis,” he asserted.

Jonas said no one wants to be surprised at the end of tabulation.

In this regard, Ward noted that the Commission was meeting to discuss the issue, noting that the gazetted order also allows for tabulation at the end of every district.

But a check of the order revealed that it did not specifically state that tabulation will be done at the end of every district.

Ward urged stakeholders to await the outcome of the Commission’s meeting on the issues put forward.

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