CARICOM team ‘concerned’ with unspecified extension of recount – Alexander

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The high-level CARICOM team that is currently scrutinizing the national vote recount has reportedly expressed concerns of an extension of the activity which at this time has no stated length of time.

When the team arrived in Guyana earlier this month ahead of the start of the recount on May 6, they were told that the recount will last for 25 days, which GECOM said would be reviewed.

However, with the current pace at which the recount of the March 02, 2020 polls is being conducted, stakeholders have agreed that it will not be able to meet the 25-day deadline.

APNU+AFC nominated GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander told the media on Monday that the team has expressed concerns that the recount will go beyond the deadline.

Alexander said the concerns were expressed directly to the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh and the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Ambassador Irwin LaRocque.

Up to Monday, GECOM could not specify the length of time the recount will be extended.

GECOM received permission from the National COVID-19 Task Force on Monday to increase the number of counting stations by two. That means that from Tuesday the counting will now be done from 12 stations.

“My own guesstimate is that it [additional stations] will not allow us to complete within 25 days,” Alexander told the press outside the Arthur Chung Conference Center where the recount is taking place.

Alexander said it is not likely that GECOM will be able to give the CARICOM team its final position on a timing for the recount when those two additional stations are up and running.

“It will require some math but definitely additional stations will impact the number of days positively.”

At the close of Sunday, GECOM processed 558 ballot boxes in the recount exercised. There is a total of 2,339 boxes to be counted.

Even after the boxes are counted, GECOM will also have to deliberate on several procedural issues before it makes a final declaration and concludes the electoral process.

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