GEORGETOWN, Guyana, April 9, 2020 (CMC) – The main opposition, the People’s Progressive Party-Civic (PPP-C) has proffered that a national recount of votes, from the March 2 general and regional elections, can be done in 10 days, and would not require as long as 156 days, as proposed by the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Keith Lowenfield.
Speaking at his weekly press conference, Opposition Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo, said the proposal for a 10-day recount, starting with the country’s largest voting district, Region Four, was made by PPP-C-nominated, GECOM Commissioners, earlier today.
“At the completion of the count for Electoral District 4, the count shall resume with Electoral District 1 and will proceed in numerical order,” the PPP-C suggested, adding that the entire process should be live-streamed, to ensure maximum transparency and respond to COVID-19 guidelines.
Although Lowenfield has submitted his proposal, GECOM is still to reach a decision on the procedural guidelines of the ballot recount.
The Commission was met, today, to put forward some of its own proposals for the recount that are not available yet, as we go to press.
Jagdeo suggested that the timeline, proposed by Lowenfield, was meant to “delay the announcement of the legitimate credible results of the elections”.
In a statement, issued yesterday, the PPP-C said the 156-day proposed timeframe was “simply ridiculous”, noting that the law provides 15 days for declaration of results, including recounts and further recounts.
“Yet, Keith Lowenfield wants almost six months to count, less than 500,000 ballots. This is obviously yet another ploy by Lowenfield, acting in concert with the rigging cabal, to continue their enterprise of derailing the electoral process and thwart the will of the electorate,” the statement said.
“Many components of the proposal presented, are either unnecessary or are, simply put forward to provide opportunities to corrupt the recounting process.
“We take this opportunity, once again, to call upon the [GECOM] Chairperson to not only be vigilant, but to act, decisively, in respect of the proposals and, most importantly, in ensuring a fair and transparent framework is established, in accordance with the law, to facilitate an expedient recounting process that will enjoy the confidence of not only the stakeholders, but indeed the nation, and the international community,” the opposition statement added.
The PPP-C was adamant that it would not accept any proposal that is “farcical”, or designed to keep the A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) coalition in office.