The agreement between President Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo was reached over the weekend, but the Elections Commission only found out about it when the CARICOM Chair issued a press release.
Several meetings between the CARICOM high-level team that will overlook the recount. and the GECOM Commissioners worked out the terms of reference after President David Granger made it clear that CARICOM’s role must operate within the framework of the laws of Guyana.
The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says the recount cannot begin unless there is a signed agreement between President David Granger, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and the Caribbean Community (Caricom). “While the Commission has considered the request in principle and has approved, a signed agreement between the Leaders and CARICOM is essential for the process to be operationalized,” GECOM said in a statement.
Containers with the ballot boxes were transferred to the counting site at the Arthur Chung Convention Centre at Lilliendaal and from early Monday, Commissioners and party reps and other officials were in place for the recount.
The Guyana Elections Commission has made it clear that it is resolute in ensuring that the process is conducted to the satisfaction of all stakeholders so that the electoral process can be concluded within the shortest possible time.
The recount will begin with the Region Four ballots. There were 879 polling stations in Region Four. That means ballots from 879 ballot boxes will have to be counted before they move on to the other nine regions.
The Commonwealth and the Organisation of American States have all welcomed the move by CARICOM to be part of the recount process which was initiated by President David Granger.
Both bodies which had observer groups in place for the elections have indicated the importance of Guyana getting everything right with the elections.
CARICOM Chairman, Mia Mottley earlier this month led a team of regional prime ministers who met with Granger and Jagdeo. Shortly before they left Guyana, Ms Mottley stressed that “every vote must count”.
Following the March 2 general elections, the United States, Britain, Canada, and the European Union, expressed concern about the lack of transparency in the tabulation of results for Region Four, after Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo raised alarms that he did not agree with the count in Region 4 and initiated widespread protests.
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