GECOM cannot revert to previous declarations- Ralph Ramkarran
Presidential Candidate of A New and United Guyana (ANUG) Ralph Ramkarran Sunday said the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) cannot revert to the ten declarations made by the Returning Officers.
“It is not possible for GECOM to order a recount under the Elections Law Amendment Act and then at the end of the process, to abandon a declaration of that recount and then return to the count,” he said after a walkthrough of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre.
Ramkarran, a former Speaker of the National Assembly, said the numbers arising out of the ongoing recount must be used to declare a final winner of the March 2 election.
It is his hope that this will be accepted by all the competitors.
According to the Recount Order, the Commission shall, after deliberating on a report from the Chief Elections Officer, determine whether it should request the CEO to use the data compiled in as the basis for the submission of a report to ascertain the winner of the election.
Following allegations from the APNU+AFC Coalition that persons who are deceased or migrated were ticked off as voted in the election, concerns have been raised whether the recount results will be used to declare a winner.
Ramkarran during an interview with the media pointed out that if GECOM decides that the allegations have made the results “untenable” then the previous declarations are also invalid since they were derived from the same votes.
“If you can’t make a declaration under the recount, you can’t make a declaration under the count,” he said.
The former Speaker of the National Assembly explained that such a scenario will mean no declaration can be made but the Constitution of Guyana does not provide for such a scenario, nor does it provide for the country to go back to the poll without a declaration.
“There is no process to go backward either…We are in what I call a Constitutional dead-end or Constitutional noman’s land so it is not possible for GECOM not to give results,” Ramkarran said.
As it relates to the allegations raised during the recount, the political leader said GECOM is not equipped to conduct a trial and such matters should be tendered in an elections petition.
At the end of Saturday, GECOM recounted 1,049 of the 2,339 ballot boxes.
The process which was set for 25 days is likely to see an extension but the specific length of the extension has not yet been agreed on.