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GECOM to request CARICOM’s return

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) today said that it will be requesting the return of the high-level CARICOM team to give validation to the national recount of votes.

Though not in a supervisory role, the commission believes that the team’s presence will give credibility to the process.

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander today said that the agency will be soliciting the return of members of the team, who, after spending four days in Guyana last month, returned to their respective countries following the filing of an injunction against the initial recount.

The elections body met today where members continued examining the modalities for the recount. Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield has been tasked with drafting the official document for the process.

“The idea is to see if we can still get the CARICOM body, not as supervising the count but their presence can give some credibility to what GECOM does. The Commission will be reaching out. We have decided today that our preference in terms of external bodies to give validation is CARICOM. They will be informed soonest”, Alexander told journalists following the meeting today.

He explained that the recount will follow all procedures of regular polling stations. Instead of the regular Statements of Poll, however, he explained that the commission will be developing a similar document to record the votes tabulated.

“Along with the recount of the ballots, everything that is done at a polling station will be also be done during the counting. All of the issues of rejected ballots, all of those things will come up for review.”

Regarding the roles of Returning Officers, Alexander said the commission has not decided whether or not they will be part of the process. He said the CEO will make such a determination.

GECOM will be moving ahead with the national recount of votes on its own accord after the Appeal Court ruled on Sunday that it should not allow outside forces to interfere with its constitutionally mandated responsibility.”

Private Citizen Ulita Moore had filed the injunction against the commission last month, contending that an agreement between His Excellency President David Granger and opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo, for CARICOM to overlook a national recount was illegal.

After litigations in the High Court and its Full Court, the Appellate Court ruled on Sunday that the involvement of CARICOM was indeed unconstitutional.

President Granger had requested from CARICOM’s Chair Mia Mottley that the body supervise a national recount of all votes cast in Guyana’s March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

The Head of State was seeking to bring an end to rising doubts about the legitimacy of the results.

 

Source: Department of Public Information

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