Guyana: se registraron menos del cinco por ciento de las urnas a tres días del recuento de votos
Recount up by 17 boxes at 2pm on Friday
A total of 17 ballot boxes were counted by 2 pm on Friday as the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) pushes ahead with the national recount of votes cast in the March 02, 2020 elections.
The recount started on Wednesday with 65 ballots boxes being completed at the close of Thursday. This now brings the total figure of boxes completed to 82 thus far.
There are 2,339 ballot boxes to be counted in the ten electoral districts; the recount started with Districts One to Four with ten workstations.
The update was provided by GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward to members of the media camping outside the Arthur Chung Convention Center.
Ward said the exercise was moving ahead with efforts being made by the Commission to ensure efficiency.
Ward said District One with just about 90 ballot boxes will likely be the first region to be completed to allow for District Five to commence.
The Commission had initially given itself 25 days, including weekends and holidays, to complete the recount but keeping that deadline seems highly unlikely if the exercise continues at the current pace.
Tabulation is also being done at the end of every day for 90 minutes simultaneously with the counting.
With 82 Statements of Recount completed, only 23 have so far been tabulated.
Party agents for the opposition PPP noted that they are seeking to have an extension of the allotted tabulation time since the inclusion of observation reports in the tabulation process was causing delays.
Ward said the Commission is currently meeting to address those issues.
Private Sector supports calls for tabulation process to be accelerated
The Private Sector Commission (PSC) has added its voice to calls being made for GECOM to increase the speed at which the tabulation process of the Statements of Recount (SORs) is being conducted.
“They have done 67 total boxes so far and they have only tabulated 23 [SORs], and that to me is unacceptable,” Chairman of the PSC, Captain Gerry Gouveia, told media operatives earlier today.
The Gazetted Recount Order had stipulated that the tabulation will be done upon the completion of the ballot boxes for each of the ten Districts – but the majority of the political parties wanted continuous tabulations in the interest of transparency.
As such, GECOM made a decision on Thursday for the tabulation exercise to be conducted daily from 17:00hrs to 18:30hrs.
Peoples Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Executive Member, Anil Nandlall, earlier today revealed that he intends to approach GECOM to review the matter with the aim of increasing the daily hours so that the tabulation of the SoRs could be fully completed at the end of each day.
Meanwhile, Gouveia labelled the recount process as “a good one”, adding that “it is very “transparent”.
He noted that the process is moving very slow, but cautioned that there is need to “legitimately” answer the queries of the various parties.
Nevertheless, Gouveia argued that ten work stations to count 2,339 ballot boxes are inadequate; and the solution lies in having more counting stations.
Moreover, the private sector official praised the GECOM staff involved in conducting the exercise, saying they are “well trained, diligent and professional”.
He expressed hope that all of the political parties would embrace the process “which must continue in a legitimate and transparent manner, until the end”.
Gouveia also praised the work of the International Observers who are involved in overseeing the process.
“We have to get international accreditation that would legitimise the process, and the next government that is formed,” he added.
The PSC has an observer present at each of the ten counting stations.
Recount will validate PPP’s SoPs – Jagdeo
Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has stated that the ongoing national recount will validate the Statements of Poll (SoPs) published by the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) that project its victory at the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
During a virtual press conference on Thursday, Jagdeo did a comparison of the Statements of Recount (SoRs) that were generated from the first day of the recount of the few ballot boxes in the contentious District Four/Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica) with the SoPs that the Party had published online, showing the similarity of figures from those six polling stations.
After the first day of the recount process, a total of 25 ballot boxes were completed from which 50 SoRs were produced – 25 General and 25 Regional. By the end of day two, an additional 40 ballot boxes were recounted.
According to Jagdeo, at the end of this process, which is in its third day today, his Party’s claim of victory at the March 2 elections would be vindicated.
“As is being shown, a pattern has already start to emerge that in South Georgetown that the Statement of Recount is matching the Statement of Poll that the PPP uploaded – that APNU and GECOM (Guyana Elections Commission) refuse to make public… the results will be evident to everyone that what the PPP has put up as SoPs [is validated and]… we believe that they know that the PPP won the elections by about 17,000 votes,” he posited.
The Opposition Leader, who is also the General Secretary of the PPP, noted that the APNU/AFC coalition already knew that it lost the elections; hence, the reason it has not released its SoPs to prove its claims of victory.
“Let them release their own SoPs like we’ve done, but they will never do that because when they added down those SoPS, they lost the elections,” he maintained.
According to Jagdeo, the caretaker coalition is deliberately trying to derail and delay the recount so that it can hang onto power for a longer period. He added that it was trying to create confusion around the entire process, but its ploy was not unknown.
“They have to create doubts about the elections so as to call for fresh elections; and that is their objective – to hang onto power for another year or so [and] try to drag this out… So, we know that their game plan is to try create doubts to have a new election, but we’re not interested in that at all,” he contended.
This, the PPP General Secretary noted, is evident in the many shenanigans that the coalition has created since Wednesday’s start of the recount to disrupt the process beginning with the false claim that the PPP delayed the commencement because they could not find their keys to open the containers to access the ballot boxes.
Jagdeo explained that the locks were rusted and seized up from the rains and all had to be broken, with permission from the political parties. He also pointed to the allegations of secret meetings between PPP agents and GECOM staff, which have since been disputed by GECOM’s Public Relations Officer Yolanda Ward and claims of dead and migrated people voting.
In fact, he noted that the APNU/AFC was just creating confusion among citizenry. He stated that the coalition was now claiming that the Voters’ List was bloated and that dead and people who migrated have voted, but at the same time was also claiming victory of the same elections.
“So, you’re claiming that you won on the basis of dead people and those who migrated voting… Their strategists didn’t think that through to the end. They are very transparent now and I would say clumsy too, because if you’re arguing you won why would you go now and try to prove that the dead vote and people who migrated… So, there is a full-fledged delay of the counting. They want to slow down the entire process by making these objections,” the Opposition Leader asserted.
The PPP General Secretary went on to note that even if the coalition did have evidence of this, there were provisions in the Constitution for such issues to be addressed in an elections petition after there was a declaration of the elections results.
Nevertheless, Jagdeo further posited that his party would continue to expose the APNU/AFC’s plan to create doubt and confusion regarding the recount process. He noted that the PPP along with the small political parties that contested the March 2 elections were continuing to guard the containers with the ballot boxes that were moved from GECOM Headquarters in Kingston, Georgetown, to the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) at Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown, for the national recount, which is expected to last for a minimum of 25 days.