GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 8, 2020 (CMC) – Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, has submitted a procedural proposal that includes a timeline of 156 days, to complete a recount of all the ballots cast, in the March 2 elections.
However, Sase Gunraj, one of the three main opposition-nominated GECOM commissioners, described the timeline as unacceptable, revealing that he has undertaken to study and rework the Lowenfield proposal.
“We have received a plan from the secretariat and it has a lot of issues, and both sides of the Commission have recognised that those issues need addressing. I have undertaken, in short order, to rework the document, including the proposal that I have, in the process, and submitting back same, when we meet again, at 9 o’clock (local time) tomorrow morning,” Gunraj stated.
Quizzed on the proposed 156-day timeline for the recount, Gunraj responded that he has not given it much thought, because it is a timeline that is untenable.
He stated, “the plan will be reworked. The plan envisages completion in 156 days, and I would want to reject that out of hand. The nation cannot survive a 156-day wait”.
Coalition government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander — one of three — said the proposal, put forward by the CEO, is just a proposal, and he would not want to share too many of his thoughts on it, while it is still on the table being discussed.
“The plan that he put forward, was a draft, for discussion. Nothing is final, and it is under discussion,” Alexander countered.
He said, he would not want to offer comments on the timeline, since it is still being studied.
“We have not interrogated it. The man did not pick 156 out of the air. He would have had some basis…in the first instance, he determined how long it takes to count a box…the votes in the box,” Alexander explained.
Alexander argued, based on the way votes are counted at polling places, it takes about two hours, to complete, and it is that two hours that is proposed in the document, put forward by the CEO.
The Commission will meet again, tomorrow morning, to put forward some of its own proposals for the recount, so that an acceptable, credible, final document could be completed.