CARICOM-supervised national vote recount likely begins Monday

The national recount of votes in Guyana’s general elections, under the supervision of a Caribbean Community (Caricom) team is expected to begin on Monday now that the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) and the regional organisation settled on the terms of reference, election commissioners said late Sunday night.

One of the pro-incumbent commissioners, Vincent Alexander said the Caricom recount supervision team’s suggestion that they begin recounting Region Four first was accepted. “Their argument was it is the largest reason and, therefore, when they are fresh, they should do largest first and as a consequence of that logic, we are not going to necessarily follow the number sequence of the regions,” he told reporters shortly after GECOM met with the regional team.

The Caricom team arrived at GECOM at 7:35pm and left at 9:16pm.

He said five recounts would be conducted simultaneously, each under the supervision of one of the members of the Caricom team, with votes from the largest regions to be conducted first. Alexander said political parties, GECOM and Caricom would have representatives for each box. “The processes will be equal across the boxes,” he said.

No concrete decision was taken on whether to release the results as they become available or at the end of the exercise which could last several days.

Alexander said the Caricom team would be conducting a visit Monday morning to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Georgetown, where the recount would be conducted.

One of the three Opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP)-nominated elections commissioner, Sase Gunraj added that, “we are looking at a location that is secure, a location that offers the logistic and perhaps comfort,” he said.

As regards the security of the ballot boxes, Alexander said a decision was taken for representatives of the contesting political parties to watch the shipping containers at the GECOM headquarters, Kingston, Georgetown overnight. He said the counts would be recorded on documents that are almost identical to Statements of Poll.

President David Granger asked Caricom to dispatch a team to conduct a total recount of the nation’s votes cast at the March 2, 2020 general elections after there was widespread local and international outcry and threats of sanctions from major Western Nations and international observers.

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