GECOM invites President, opposition leader fortalks

—to decide on way forward 

DPI GUYANA, Sunday August, 2020 

Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh today acceded to a recommendation by Commissioners to invite His Excellency President David Granger and opposition leader Bharrat Jagdeo to meet to decide on the way forward.

The Commission met this morning, days after the Court of Appeal ruled that it must use the raw numbers from the national vote recount to make a declaration of the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections. 

Private citizen Misenga Jones had challenged GECOM in both the High and Appeal Courts, contending that the recount numbers could not be used since the commission had used Section 22 of the Elections Law Amendment Act to clothe itself with law-making powers. The commission had relied on Section 22 to establish the National Recount Order.

It was the President and opposition leader who had agreed to the national vote recount in April. And although there were some legal battles challenging its constitutionality, the 33-day process went ahead in early May. 

The main objective of that process was to determine the credibility of the March 2 elections. And although over 200,000 votes were said to be tainted by electoral fraud, GECOM said ay challenges to the elections must be done through an elections petition.

GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the Chair has spoken to both leaders who had also agreed to speak. 

“What we propose is that the way forward be discussed, given the fact that we do not think the recounttabulation should be used to declare the results. 

The proposition for talks was made by Commission Charles Corbin and supported by government Commissioners.

“When we proceeded to the recount, the basis on which we got there was an agreement between the president and opposition leader. Based on the evidence that that has thrown up, it is evident as presented today could cause a lot of ripples in the society. What was proposed is that there be an engagement of the leaders on the way forward,” Corbin said outside GECOM. 

The commission will meet again at 14:00 hrs

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