The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) three-member team that observed the recount of votes cast in the March General and Regional Elections says that the process was not in fact a recount, but rather, consisted of procedures that are normally reserved for an audit.
The team made this known in its final report on the process that was submitted to the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, this morning.
“From the outset, the team wishes to acknowledge that the exercise we observed was not in fact a recount. It was an audit of the votes cast…And from the start it was conceived as an audit, notwithstanding the statements on a national recount,” the report said.
The team was pellucid that a recount of votes means “exactly that” – a counting of the ballots cast.
“In this case, the so-called recount extended to issues normally reserved for an audit of ballots cast in the elections,” the team noted.
This observation is in line with statements previously made by the political opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) since the commencement of the recount process.
Party Member, Anil Nandlall would have said on a number of occasions that the procedures being undertaken exceed the scope of a recount. He said, too, that GECOM does not have the capability or capacity to conduct such an “extraneous” operation.
The team was led by Cynthia Barrow-Giles, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies (UWI), John Jarvis, Commissioner of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission and Sylvester King, the Deputy Supervisor of Elections of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Commissioners at GECOM will meet today at 10 am for the official declaration.