The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has reached out to the National Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Task Force (NCTF) as the elections body “explores” the possibility of establishing additional workstations to recount the votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections. This is according to GECOM’s Public Relations Officer (PRO), Yolanda Ward, who spoke to the media this afternoon outside the recount venue, the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.

According to the Recount Operationalisation Order, the Commission will, after a week of operation, review the 25 days that were allocated to conclude the process. Today is Day Seven of that exercise, and the Commission met, after which, it decided that there is a need for additional stations to accelerate the process and to ensure that it concludes within that mandated period.

At the end of the meeting, some of the commissioners had a “quick look around” to see where they would install those stations, Ward reported.

“They haven’t decided on a number of workstations to be established, because we still have to be conscious of, in terms of the requirement for social and physical distancing, and all of that. So, while they have identified a few possible areas, they also agreed that the Commission will contact the Task Force to see if we can have some Public Health officials visit tomorrow to have a look at those spaces to determine whether they would be conducive to have counting stations,” she said.

It was the NCTF that recommended only 10 stations be used in the process.

But, Opposition-nominated Commissioner, Sase Gunraj has always maintained that more stations could have been installed.

Just three days ago, Chairman of the Private Sector Commission – an accredited local observer of these elections – Captain Gerry Gouveia, had hinted at the need for more stations to speed up the process.
Ward said that the GECOM Chairperson, Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, has requested that the public health officials conduct the inspection sometime between 11:30am and 12pm.

The Commission is expected to meet again tomorrow on the matter regarding the duration of the process.

Ward reported also, that as at 4pm, 32 boxes would have been completed. These are: 9 from Region One; six from Region Two; Seven from Region Three; and 10 from Region Four.


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