All set for national recount today

—participants anticipate unhindered process

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, May 6, 2020

All is set for the commencement of the national recount of all votes cast in the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections today, and officials say they expect a smooth, unhindered process that will see a declared winner upon completion.

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has already been commended for the impressive preparatory work put in place for the national recount.

The process commenced this morning with security checks being carried out on persons entering the compound of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), where the national recount will be conducted.

A stretch of participants and vehicles lined the outside of the centre, where they were scanned before entering.

Once inside, tents are set up by health officials where medical checks of those individuals were carried out, a measure taken by the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) to prevent the spread of the Novel Coronavirus here.

The line of participants included members of observer missions, party representatives and GECOM officials

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander said he hopes for “a smooth process this morning.”

He explained that the commission will first have a briefing with observers and party representatives, where their work plan will be again discussed.

Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson who represents the APNU+AFC, also expressed expectation for a smooth, unhindered process.

“We are all prepared. GECOM has done a lot of work and we should commend them, they have been under a lot of pressure. So we hope that everything goes smoothly.”

He said the recount will once and for all provide a clear and unambiguous winner of the March 2, polls.

“We are here just to do our part, scrutinize, raise objection, to certify what has been done before. So far so good,” he told journalists before entering the compound.

Patterson said of the systems implemented by GECOM including the security measures, must be commended. He said no personal firearms are being allowed in the centre and noted his satisfaction that the Guyana Police Force is in charge of the overall security of the process.

He is also pleased with the systems established by GECOM to resolve any issue that may arise at any one workstation.

GECOM has outlined that should any persons be dissatisfied with any the process, that issue should be taken up with the supervisor of the workstation. If there is no resolution, the Chief Elections Officer (CEO) will be sought out and if no progress, then the matter will be taken to the seven-member commission.

Meanwhile, Minister within the Ministry of the Presidency with responsibility for Youth Affairs Simona Broomes said she wants a victory for Guyana from the process.

“This is history in Guyana and I want to say that all of us need to be focused, need to be sober and maintain the peace, that we resist violence and confusion. And for me, I want Guyana to win at the end of the day. It’s not about me or even the party I represent, but it’s about Guyana,” she told the media.

GECOM is hoping to have the national recount completed in a matter of 25 days but will make a full determination over the coming days.

The commission has retained the participation of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) three-member high-level team to serve as a “third party” to scrutinize and verify the process.