PPP proposes range of measures to increase pace of recount
During a meeting with the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Wednesday, the opposition People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) placed several recommendations on the table geared towards improving the current pace of the recount exercise.
Presidential Candidate for the PPP/C Irfaan Ali briefed the media after the meeting and said that all of the recommendations put forward were to ensure that the transparency of the process remains intact while efficiency is improved.
Ali said the PPP/C will be supportive of a week’s extension to the activity which initially was given a deadline of 25 days.
Fifteen days into the recount it seems highly unlikely that the deadline will be met but Ali believes that if the PPP’s recommendations are taken on board GECOM will be able not have to resort a lengthy extension.
“We have made it clear that we will support a minimum extension of maybe seven days,” he added.
At the end of Tuesday, a total of 718 of the 2,339 boxes had been counted. On Tuesday the Commission also increased the counting stations from 10 to 12 and achieved its highest daily total of 77 boxes.
Among the PPP’s recommendations is for GECOM to examine a quota system where a minimum daily target is set for each station and those stations are made to complete that quota before its wraps up work for the day.
“The quota system does not set a time system. All it does is to say there is a minimum standard to be established for every station… I don’t think it will compromise the transparency but it will add to efficiency,” Ali added
He said this recommendation was made based on the Chairman’s stated intention to accomplish a target of 100 boxes per day.
Among the other recommendations are for GECOM to consider extended working hours with accompanying incentives for staff. The PPP also explored the possibility of a shift system to be put in place.
If these measures do not find favor with GECOM, Ali said the Commission can also go back to its earlier recommendation to increase the counting stations.
“We did not recommend a specific number but what we said is that GECOM is independent and they should examine the recommendations within the protocols of the Covid-19 and come up with a number.”
GECOM had sought permission from the Covid-19 task force to increase the stations to 16 but only received permission to add two more stations.
The task force had cited breaches to the existing guidelines for Covid-19 at the recount center.
Ali said even if there is an extension GECOM should work to ensure that the CARICOM team remains in Guyana until the process is completed.
He believes too that GECOM should renew efforts to have other accredited international observers return to see process to the end.
The PPP Presidential Candidate said apart from slothfulness of the process he is impressed with professionalism of GECOM staff and urged consistency.