If the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) is to produce credible results for the March 2020 General and Regional Elections, then counting the ballots alone, will not be enough. The objections raised by party agents must also be addressed, says Government-nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander.

The Commissioner, during an interview with media officials this afternoon, said that while persons have been calling on the Commission to only count the ballots, the “logical approach” to ensure credibility is to also resolve issues.
His comment comes against the backdrop of the governing coalition party already flagging more than 15 objections.

The Opposition party, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), on the other hand, has also made requests of its own to the Commission. Party Member, Anil Nandlall said that the party requested the “Summary of Resolutions” from GECOM for it to be used as guide, so when there is a recurrence of an issue, it can be resolved easily.

Nandlall, this afternoon, said that these objections being raised by the governing coalition, is the reason behind the slow pace of the process. He said, too, that the Commission is entertaining these “inconsequential” objections, which is further exacerbating the situation.

He told media operatives that one box this morning took three hours to count. This duration would also include the time it took for the raising and subsequent addressing of issues. Without these issues being raised and resolved, Nandlall said that it would have taken less than 30 minutes to count that particular box.

He maintains that the main objective of the process is to recount the ballots, not to verify the authenticity of the votes. That latter “objective” can be addressed in an elections petition, he said, while adding that the staff of GECOM is not qualified for this kind of “forensic” approach.

He reminded that the process is called a “National Recount”, not a forensic audit of the process.

But Alexander says that addressing issues raised is also part of ensuring the credibility of the final results. This, he said, is an objective written clearly in the order gazetted by the Commission.


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