Yesterday, at least one workstation conducting the recount of votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections, stopped operation two hours before the statutory cut off time, 7pm. This had opposition party agents fuming, but Government-nominated Commissioner, Vincent Alexander, said that opening another box would have carried operations beyond 7pm, and the Commission did not want to leave ballot boxes open and counting incomplete.
But Opposition Candidate, Anil Nandlall says that it is better to go beyond the deadline, rather than stop working before. He said that the priority is to complete the recount in the shortest possible time.
“So why are we closing up early, rather than extend the time a little to conclude the box? What is the priority, not the conclusion of the process in the earliest time? So, if we are going to err, let us err on the side of completing a box; go beyond the statutory time, rather than stop before the statutory time. I thought that, that would be in the best interest of everyone – to accelerate and conclude the process in the shortest possible time,” he said when told about the justification provided by the commissioner.
Nandlall told media operatives this evening, that stations were being closed “way before” the scheduled 7pm.
“Stations were closed again at 5pm, and that is unacceptable. And, we can’t continue at this rate. The Chairperson had said to us that after the first two days, the process will pick up significant pace, and we are hoping that, that will happen from tomorrow,” he said.
But Guyana Standard understands that GECOM decided to tabulate the votes every day for 90 minutes. It is unclear if stations were required to be closed to facilitate this exercise.
Nandlall said, too, that delays are stemming from the “unnecessary queries that are being made” and that persons are “deliberately dilating”.