GECOM Secretariat in preparation mode for national recount

—Commission awaits confirmation time of arrival of CARICOM team

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The secretariat of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) has commenced the groundwork for the recount of the votes cast in the March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections.

Commissioner Vincent Alexander today told the media that the secretariat is in a “full state of preparedness” for the process and could commence some two days after the CARICOM team that will be scrutinising the process arrives.

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GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander

“The Secretariat is well prepared. They are on the ground today at the conference centre; they will also be on the ground tomorrow including briefing sessions with the staff. They are not waiting; they are proceeding with pace and they have been advised that they’ll be on the ground for assimilation exercise,” he relayed.

On Monday, the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) disclosed that it had approved the April 30 travel date for the CARICOM team.

GECOM, however, said it should receive official word from CARICOM during today.

“We still do not have the commencement date, because we still do not have the final arrival moment of CARICOM. Once we have that, I think we will be able to specify a commencement date,” Alexander said.

Among the discussions, today during the commission’s meeting, was a proposal by the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for GECOM to provide live streaming to observers who, because of the guidelines, would be unable to physically participate in the process.

However, the concerns expressed in this regard surrounded the fact that the streaming will be offsite where GECOM will have no control of the attendees.

Alexander said the commission has no guarantee that given the manner of their behaviour in the past, the stream will not be “opened to everyone.”

The PSC is also asking that the live stream be broadcasted by Channel 28, the operators of the Guyana Times Newspaper.  Alexander said, however, that some commissioners are of the view that the news outfit has been biased in its reporting, pre and post the March 2, elections. He said the commission is not inclined to give that kind of opportunity to a news outfit that has been biased.

Alexander again raised the issue of some commissioners continuing to stall the recount process, bringing up issues that have already been decided on. He noted that these commissioners have also objected to the guidelines of the NCTF, saying that they are “erroneous, unnecessary and that we can do our own thing.”

“That is not a consensus of GECOM, but the commissioner saw it that way,” Alexander said.

He reiterated that the persons calling for the process to be completed are the very persons who are seeking to revisit matters long-settled.

“They do not have an understanding of how a commission works. A commission makes a decision, notwithstanding your dissenting views. It cannot ad nauseum be reopening its decisions,” Commissioner Alexander underscored.

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