Objective of national recount remains in place- Commissioner Alexander

DPI, Guyana, Friday, May 8, 2020

Commissioner of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Vincent Alexander today said that the objective of the national recount of the March 2, General and Regional Elections remains in place and must be allowed to be completed.

That objective he reminded is the pursuit of a final, credible and transparent count of all the ballots cast in the elections held earlier this year.

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GECOM Commissioner Vincent Alexander speaking to the media at the end of day 3 of the recount.

Speaking to media operatives late this afternoon, the commissioner said there are still persons who are adamant that the Commission carry out a mere numerical count. However, Alexander maintains that such a process will do very little for credibility.

Opposition member Anil Nandlall this afternoon had again argued that the full audit being undertaken by the elections commission, ensuring the validity of all votes, should only be done following an elections petition.

Alexander, however, reported that the recount has been unearthing a host of anomalies.  He said there were instances where the number of ballots in a box was greater than the number of persons marked off on the Official List of Electors (OLE).

“A matter like that is a credibility issue and is a matter pertaining to the count. So those people who would like us to forget everything else and merely go in the box to repeat the count, are in fact not addressing the matter of credibility.”

He referred to the National Recount Order, which he said addresses the issue of credibility.

“The Order says a credible count. So, we have had persons ad nauseum, for reasons of their own, saying that we should not check anything else but a numerical count, but that is not the exercise that GECOM has embarked upon. GECOM has to act in accordance with the Order.”

Alexander cited another issue today, where the number of persons who voted via affidavit was more than the number of affidavits made available to the polling station.

He said today was just the third day of a recount geared at reviewing some 2339 ballots. 108 of those ballots have so far been recounted.

According to Alexander, the Commission has decided to allow the process to move ahead, however, ballot boxes found to have discrepancies will not form part of the tabulation, until the commission has deliberated on the matter.

The Commission has decided that the adjudication be done at least twice each day.

Alexander reported that the Commission in the meantime has been carrying out its job, providing clarity to counting agents in the process. He noted it is still a new process and teams are interchanged each day, making it a little more challenging for persons to get things correct quickly.

The commissioner also expressed satisfaction with the measures in place at the recount centre to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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