Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Captain Gerry Gouveia had nothing but high praises for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) as Day Three of the national recount of the votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections got underway today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) in Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown. The PSC is an accredited local elections observer group. It has an observer at each of the 10 workstations at the ACCC.
Captain Gouveia said that he is impressed with the transparency in the process, thus far, and has commended the GECOM staff for being “very diligent and professional”.
“I believe that the process, as it is, is a good one,” he told media operatives outside of the ACCC earlier today.
Contrary to several reports, Gouveia said that he has not seen any action which suggests that deliberate attempts are being made to slow down the process.
He, however, is of the belief that the process needs to pick up pace. The pilot said that it is going to be difficult for the entire process to be completed in the mandated 25-day period, given the level of diligence currently being employed in the process.
Gouveia said that he welcomes such diligence; noting that party agents should be entitled to air any concerns that they may have regarding the process.
He opined that there should have been more stations conducting the recount of the ballots.
Currently, there are 10 such stations counting ballots cast in Regions One, Two, Three and Four.
The decision to use only 10 stations was made by GECOM following recommendations that were forwarded by the Health Ministry through the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) to ensure physical distancing protocols were incorporated into the process.
“The answer would have been and should have been more stations. I think that we all recognize that 10 stations to count 2,339 boxes is a stretch, and you would have to be doing maybe 100 [boxes] per day and we’ve done like 40 yesterday and so, we’ll see what will happen today…But it is going to be difficult,” he said.
With regards to the tabulation, Gouveia said that of the over 60 boxes completed, only about 23 have been tabulated thus far.
“That is unacceptable,” he said; noting that more needs to be done to ensure that Statements of Recount (SORs) are tabulated much faster.