One of the workstations counting the ballots for Electoral District Four (Demerara/Mahaica), stopped working at 5pm this afternoon – two hours before the scheduled closure of the day’s operation. This has the opposition party fuming. Its agents are arguing that at least another box could have been counted.
Opposition candidate, Anil Nandlall has since complained to the Chairperson of GECOM, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, and the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield.
“That is totally unacceptable,” Nandlall said, as he reported that one of the government agents attached to that station, Station No#9, said that she wished to leave early since she lives in Berbice.
But Government-nominated Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vincent Alexander, says that opening another box could have taken operation well beyond the scheduled cut off time (7pm).
He said that the cessation of works was done to ensure the “safety” of the boxes. He said that leaving a box open might lead to controversy, and that GECOM is not willing to leave “anything to chance”.
Some 22 boxes containing ballots cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections were counted today at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown.
The opposition also raised concerns over the order in which boxes are being counted. GECOM has since reassured the party that from tomorrow, there will be a sequential order in which this will be done.
The entire recount process is expected to take 25 days. However, this duration will be further accessed after a week of operation.