GECOM CEO to revise draft national recount work plan

as preparations continue 

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 9, 2020

Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Keith Lowenfield has been tasked with revising his draft work plan for the national recount of the March 2, General and Regional Elections, which will be resubmitted when the commission meets again.

During another meeting today of the elections body, several decisions were made that will aid the highly anticipated recount process. While a timeline for the commencement of the recount has not yet been decided upon, the commission has agreed on the use of the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), the involvement of the representatives of political parties, and the respective roles GECOM officials will play.

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GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

Commissioner Vincent Alexander said, however, that there were no decision on the 156 days proposal by the CEO for the duration of the recount. He related though that there were two bases on which the CEO arrived such a timeframe.

The first he said was the amount of time for the counting of the ballots. The other, he explained was that the CEO had taken into consideration a proposal made by Commissioner Robeson Benn who had suggested that the operation should be covered by two of the commissioners.

“It is rather unfortunate that the CEO follows on from what we have said to him, but then was lambasted by commissioners in the public. So it is very unfortunate that the CEO, who tried to work in conformity of what we said, is then lambasted,” he told journalists.

Regarding the involvement of CARICOM in the process, Alexander reiterated that the team will act as a third party to give “credence and credibility” to the process.

Commenting on the declarations made by the ten Returning Officers (ROs’), he said those declarations have not yet come up for discussion by the Chair.

Alexander said the commission will be relying on Article 161 (b) of the Constitution and Section 22 of the Representation of the People’s Act and “will start from ground zero to carry out the recount.” He said once there is a declaration, the previous declaration will become irrelevant.

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