GECOM in fresh discussions to add more counting stations
One day after it added two new counting stations with the aim of increasing the pace of the recount, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was Wednesday considering further increasing the number of counting stations.
The Commission was examining the issue following a meeting with the People’s Progressive Party where a range of measures were proposed by the party for increasing the pace of the recount.
Following that meeting, APNU-AFC nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander confirmed that the electoral body was considering the proposal.
He said all stakeholders, including the PPP have agreed that even with an accelerated process, it will be difficult to achieve the 25-day deadline.
PPP’s Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali said earlier that the party was willing to support a one-week extension but hopes that everything will be done to ensure the process doesn’t extend beyond that.
Alexander said even though GECOM may be willing to increase the number of stations, it will have to continue consulting with the COVID-19 Task Force on this issue.
“I had reason to make the point that the people who contend that GECOM is autonomous and no one can tell them what to do has a wrong understanding about the law,” he added.
Alexander further explained that “no other authority can tell them [GECOM] how to conduct elections but this is a national health issues and another body has the authority and GECOM has to work with that body.”
He said GECOM must show mutual respect for the COVID-19 Task Force in looking to increase the number of counting stations.
GECOM had previously sought permission from the task force to increase the number of stations from 10 to 16 but only got permission to add two stations.
The task force in limiting the increase had pointed to breaches of the existing COVID-19 guidelines.
GECOM had promise to correct those deficiencies highlighted by the Task Force.