In an email communication to the commissioners this afternoon, the GECOM Chair indicated to the Commissioners that all the workstations will be located on the inside of the Arthur Chung Convention Centre for security reasons, and each workstation will be responsible for the tabulation of its own results.
Justice Singh gave no indication as to the number of days the recount will take, nor the approximate time it will take to count each ballot box.
Justice Singh has also written to the Chairman of the COVID-19 Task Force, Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, with specific requests in light of concerns about the length of time the count will take and the coronavirus curfew that is currently in place.
The Prime Minister has indicated that an urgent meeting of the Task Force will be convened to discuss the issues raised.
The letter to the Commissioners did not provide details about a possible timeline for the recount but some commissioners speculate that each ballot box could take one hour to count, while some others believe it would take two hours to complete all the paperwork and everything else that goes along with the counting of ballots.
The People’s Progressive Party Elections Commissioners had proposed 20 workstations inside and outside the building. However, it was pointed out that there were security and health considerations for those boxes that would be on the outside of the centre and the number of persons who would be huddled around each box.
The CARICOM team has again been invited to observe the recount process and to bring credibility to the counting process.
The Guyana Bar Association (GBA) on Thursday cautioned that a national recount of votes could contravene the Constitution because Parliament should meet no later than April 30, 2020.
The GBA warned that as of Thursday, 14 days were “left before Guyana delves further into the constitutional abyss to which the country was pushed by GECOM on March 21, 2019 when it failed to hold General and Regional Elections within the constitutionally mandated period on the valid passing of the ‘No Confidence Motion’ on December 21, 2018.”
Singh however, said she did not envisage a constitutional problem. “Of course it would. Once it starts, it would be finished,” she said, adding that she did not expect a constitutional logjam if the recount is not completed by April 30. “I do not envisage that at all,” Singh said.
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