Even as Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh proposes a 25-day period to conduct the recount of the votes cast in the March 2 General and Regional elections, the opposition is adamant that the duration can be condensed.
Initially, the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield had proposed 157 days. The opposition-nominated Commissioners today tabled a motion requesting that process be done in 14 days.
The Chair indicated that the process be completed in 25 days with the possibility of a review. This possibility of a review, according to Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, leaves the process ‘open-ended’, which can ‘undermine’ the presence of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) team scheduled to arrive in Guyana to observe the process.
Jagdeo said that the 14-day proposed was due to feedback given to the party by observers, who said that they would prefer to be in Guyana to observe the process for two weeks. Jagdeo argued that if the process is left “open-ended”, the observers “may not want to come for such a long time”, given the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government-nominated Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, has said already that the first day of the recount will set the pace for the process. He said that after day one, the commission will be in a better position to pinpoint where adjustments need to be made.