Recount will be supervised by GECOM – Commissioner Alexander
The national recount ordered by Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), retired Justice Claudette Singh will be supervised by the Commission, according to Commissioner Vincent Alexander.
Speaking with the media after a meeting on Friday, he noted that “it is a GECOM Commission supervised recount if it occurs.”
The national recount was initiated by an agreement signed by President David Granger, Opposition Leader and CARICOM on March 16 but was discontinued following an injunction filed by an APNU+AFC Candidate to block the process. In that agreement, CARICOM was slated to supervise the recount.
“There has to be clear directive in an order from GECOM to the administration; we have to decide if the recount is merely a recount of the votes or whether all of the materials in the box will be taken into consideration i.e. the proxies, the people who vote without ID cards and all of that.”
The Commissioner said there is a “fair consensus” that all of the materials in the ballot boxes will be checked in the recount.
Alexander pointed out that the recount is not being done under the Representation of the People’s Act but rather under provisions of the Constitution of Guyana which says GECOM can deal with its difficulties as it deems fit.
“The administration has made it clear that we have to give them clear directions about what we mean by a recount and how we will proceed with a recount. That has not yet been done.”
GECOM will proceed with the recount from Regions 1 to 10 in chronological order, as decided by Justice Singh.
In a statement from the Commission, it was explained that her decision is against the backdrop of Article 162 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana which mandates the Commission to “take such action as appear to it necessary or expedient to ensure impartiality, fairness and compliance with the provisions of the Constitution.”
Further GECOM said the Chief Election Officer (CEO) was asked to provide a framework for the operationalization of the recount, however, the CEO requested guidance from the Commission on a number of legal and procedural issues in relation to the recount and once clarified, he will proceed to operationalize the plan.
Those issues are being dealt with during the continuation of the Commission’s meeting on Friday afternoon.
Earlier, GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj said the possible return of the CARICOM supervisory team and the electoral observer missions along with preparations to complete the recount while avoiding the spread of the COVID-19 are issues he wants clarified.
Attorney Kim Kyte, who is representing the GECOM Chair in an appeal court matter, has told the court that the recount will not go ahead before Sunday when its ruling is expected.
See GECOM’s full statement below:
GECOM decides to conduct national recount in chronological order
3 April 2020, GEORGETOWN – After considerable deliberations at the level of the Commission on the next steps following the decision of the Full Court, Chairperson of The Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh explained that she would be unable to renege on her under taking to the Chief Justice to facilitate a recount of the votes cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.
In this regard, Justice Singh has decided that there would be a recount of all the regions in chronological order i.e. Region 1 – Region 10. She posited that her decision is against the backdrop of Article 162 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana which mandates the Commission to “take such action as appear to it necessary or expedient to ensure impartiality, fairness and compliance with the provisions of the Constitution.”
Consequent to the foregoing, the Chief Election Officer (CEO) was asked to provide a framework for the operationalization of the recount. However, the CEO requested guidance from the Commission on a number of legal and procedural issues in relation to the recount and once clarified, he will proceed to operationalize the plan.
The meeting was adjourned and will commence discussions on the operationalization of the recount upon resumption.
‘Struggle for vote recount continues’ – Jagdeo says recount should be televised
General Secretary of the Peoples Progressive Party/ Civic (PPP/C) Bharrat Jagdeo, today, (Friday), assured the nation that the party will continue the struggle to ensure that the results for the March 2nd General and Regional are credible and the duly elected government is sworn in.
In a virtual media engagement today, Jagdeo related that the Party is still actively engaged in continuing to press all stakeholders, including the international community, to ensure that the electoral process is concluded in a democratic and transparent manner; that is by ensuring that there is a recount of the votes cast in the March polls.
The party leader said that the PPP’s push for a credible recount “will continue to the end”. He said the party is in favour of having the recount process televised so that all Guyanese would be able see and judge for themselves how the process is conducted.
Jagdeo also lashed out at the APNU/AFC Coalition for what he terms “abusing” the Court process, in their bid to buy time and remain in office “illegally”.
He said there is “a huge struggle being waged by an APNU/AFC cabal” aimed at seeing David Granger is sworn in as president, even though “everyone knows that the PPP/C have won the elections,” he said.
The General Secretary explained that the PPP have demonstrated this by uploading the SOPs and the Tally Sheets which clearly show “a huge difference” between the results declared by Returning Officer for District Four Clairmont Mingo and those supplied by the PPP.
Jagdeo said he is hoping that the high-level CARICOM team would return to oversee the process.
The high-level team from CARICOM that was invited to oversee the recount of ballots cast at March 2, General and Regional Elections had withdrawn from the process following a court injunction to block the process.
The Independent High level team was chaired by the former Attorney-General and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Dominica Francine Baron, and comprise former Minister of Finance of Grenada Anthony Boatswain; Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government of UWI Cynthia Barrow-Giles; Chief Electoral Officer of Barbados Angela Taylor; and Chief Elections Officer of Trinidad and Tobago Fern Narcis-Scope.
The team was put together after CARICOM’s Chairman, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados intervened on the behest of President David Granger.
Appeal Court to rule on GECOM recount case on Sunday
THE Court of Appeal, on Sunday, will hand down its ruling on whether the Court has jurisdiction to hear an application, challenging the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM’s) decision to facilitate a National Recount, against the background that, declarations have already been made in all 10 Electoral District.
Though GECOM, on Friday, concretised its decision to conduct a National Recount, it has assured the Appellate Court that the recount will not commence before its decision is handed down on Sunday.
GECOM chair, Justice Claudette Singh, through her attorney, Kim Kyte gave a commitment that while a decision was taken by the commission on a recount, such will not commence before Sunday as as such none of the parties would be prejudice.
Outside the commission’s headquarters on Friday, GECOM commissioner Vincent Alexander told reporters that the recount is not one which will be done under the Representation of the Peoples Act but rather , it will be done under other provisions of the Constitution.He said while the commission has agreed to a recount, the modalities of the undertaking are still being considered.
Commissioner Sase Gunraj also noted that several modalities regarding the recount are being ironed out.”We were moving one step forward one step backward in relation to the process and the chair finally ruled, this is what we are going to do and this is the decision and we have to take steps to operationalise that now,” he said of the meeting earlier on Friday.
The commission will be meeting during the afternoon to iron out details of the decision for the recount.
The commission has agreed for a a full recount of the ballots cast at the March, 2, 2020 regional and general elections for all ten administrative regions. The recount will be conducted in chronological order starting from Region One.