GECOM to decide way forward

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, April 2, 2020

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) will meet again on Friday to continue discussions on the way forward following the ruling of the Full Court on Tuesday, March 31, which dismissed an injunction filed by Ulita Grace Moore, blocking a national recount of the March 2, General and Regional Elections.

Topping the agenda tomorrow will be discussions on the possibility of carrying out that national recount and the consideration of legal advice on the way forward, which was sought by Commissioner Charles Corbin.

Speaking with the media following today’s meeting; Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the commission will reconvene to first consider legal advice on the way forward, which was sought by Commissioner Corbin. He had earlier asked that the commission approach the court for guidance, but that was not granted.

“The meeting has not completed discussions on that motion. A number of other things happened. Commissioner Corbin who had earlier suggested that we approach the court to get clarity on the way forward, because of varying legal which at first was not acceded to by the commission, has asked for time to get that legal advice.  Time has been granted and the commission will convene at 10 in the morning,” he told reporters outside of GECOM.

In the meantime, he said Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield has been asked to “start addressing his mind to the question to the processes that can be employed if we are to undertake a recount.”

Another question arose on whether the commission should await the completion of the current legal proceedings before the Appeal Court before it moves ahead. However, the consensus was that the process should go ahead.

Commissioner Alexander himself presented a motion to the commission, asking that it consider the final report of the CEO, which was prepared since March 14, last.

Meanwhile, Chair of the Commission Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh in a later release explained that the contempt matter brought against her has not yet concluded but was shelved, as she gave the undertaking to conduct a full national recount of all votes.

“A motion was subsequently tabled by Commissioner Alexander for the Commission to consider the report of the Chief Election Officer (CEO) on the results of the Elections. However, Justice Singh explained that she would be unable to allow the CEO to present his report at this point since a contempt motion brought by the People’s Progressive Party restrains her from so doing, ” the release stated.

Should the Commission vote for a recount, Commissioner Alexander said he it would be a good move to have the CARICOM team return to supervise the process.

Private citizen Ulita Grace Moore is challenging the elections commission against carrying the national recount requested by His Excellency President David Granger three weeks ago to be supervised by CARICOM.

That matter was dismissed by the Full Court. An appeal was filed in the Appellate Court and will be heard also on Friday.

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