GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 6, 2020 (CMC) – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) announced, today, that it will be requesting the return of the high-level CARICOM team, to give validation to the national recount of votes.
In a statement, GECOM said, that although the CARICOM representatives would not be in a supervisory role, the commission believes that the team’s presence will give credibility to the process.
GECOM government-nominated Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, 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.
Today, during a meeting, members of the electoral body 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.
He explained that the recount will follow all procedures of regular polling stations, but instead of the regular Statements of Poll (SoPs), he explained, 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 — an A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and Alliance For Change (AFC) candidate in the recent election — had filed the injunction, against the commission, last month, contending that an agreement, between President, David Granger, and the main opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, for CARICOM to overlook a national recount, was illegal.
After litigation in the High Court, and its Full Court, the Appellate Court ruled, yesterday, that the involvement of CARICOM was indeed unconstitutional.