GECOM to decide tomorrow on possible extension for recount

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The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will meet on Tuesday to deliberate on several issues including a reevaluation of the current 25 days deadline for the ongoing national vote recount exercise.

According to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Yolanda Ward, persons can expect that proper guidance will be given by the Commission on the duration of the exercise after the meeting Tuesday.

Now six days into the recount with just over 200 of 2,339 ballot boxes processed, Ward said the decision was made to review the deadline following a meeting between GECOM and representatives of at least five new parties that contested the March 2 elections.

The Party representatives raised several issues including the duration of the exercise. Based on widespread analysis, it seems unlikely that the exercise will be completed within 25 days.

The parties had also raised issues relating to the flow of information to all stakeholder in the recount activity.

“They asked the Commission to work out a methodology so that communication is done across the board to allow for compliance,” Ward explained.

There was also criticism of a standing decision to read out observation reports during the tabulation process.

The Chairman Justice (rt’d) Claudette Singh reportedly objected to claims that this process is irrelevant and asserted her belief that it was important to the exercise.

The observation reports will allow for any future deliberations the Commission will likely have on the recount process before a new declaration is made.

Also providing an update on the meeting was Kian Jabour, party agent for a New and United Guyana (ANUG).

Jabour said his particular issue included the time of the activity which he said is secondary once transparency continues.

“We are extremely satisfied up to this point with the work GECOM is doing in creating a credible and transparent recount process.”

Notwithstanding, the ANUG representative said the country is waiting and everything possible must be done to ensure that there are no delays to the process.

He chided persons and parties attempting to cast doubt on the March 2 polls and noted that all parties and observer missions had already pronounced that the polling was smooth and credible.

Jabour said his main concern with GECOM was that there is a lot of misunderstanding as to what is happening with regard to the tabulation.

“You can understand the confusion because we heard that they were going to deliberate on the tabulation after… as we understand it all parties have agreed to the numbers and they should be final… this is a little bit of confusion and we have asked GECOM to make it very clear what will be derived from the recount and how it will be used… we are tense,” he added.

The new parties also met with the CARICOM observer team and listed their concerns.

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