As Day 32 of the recount of votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections came to an end today at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), some 93 boxes were processed. The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) now has to count ballots in the 74 boxes that remain.
All of the boxes contain ballots that were cast in Electoral District Four (Demerara/Mahaica).
It is expected that this phase of the operation will conclude tomorrow. However, there is a matter that is yet to be resolved, which pertains to missing documents from boxes that contain ballots cast in several East Coast Demerara villages.
When the boxes were opened, ancillary documents which include the Official List of Electors and counterfoils could not be located. A decision was subsequently taken to set aside the generated Statements of Recount, and to not have them tabulated now.
When the recount process is over, the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield will then compile a report, which will be submitted to the Commission for deliberation.
The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) High-level team that is observing the process is expected to submit its report.
The way will then be paved for the declaration of the results.
It is unclear, at this point, how the Commission will deal with numerous allegations raised by the incumbent, A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC), regarding suspected dead and migrant voters. Over the course of the process, the party would have made several objections, which were logged in the observation reports.
How the Commission proceeds with these reports has been a major source of contention over the past month. The APNU+AFC says that GECOM should ascertain the veracity of the party’s claims, but the Opposition says that the Commission cannot do so, as such matters are best suited for an elections petition.