Last updated on Wednesday May 6, 2020, 6:50 PM by Denis Chabrol
The recount of the votes cast in the legislative and regional elections of March 2, 2020 dragged on Wednesday afternoon, with barely 22 cases declared from which a small number of gaps were noted, according to well-placed sources.
The recount for the first day of the exercise at the Arthur Chung Conference Center began two and a half hours later at 10:30 a.m. At lunchtime for most workstations, only eight boxes were declared, the sources said.
When asked whether Wednesday’s statements so far included spoiled, rejected or extra ballots, the source said “yes” but “they were marginal.” Informed predictions are that based on current trends, the difference in votes should not exceed around 500 votes. However, Ganesh Mahipaul, representative of the Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (UNPA + AFC), which reviews the votes cast in region three, said the exercise uncovered some anomalies and that cumulatively , they could make the difference. “Although this may seem like a polling station, and one might want to conclude that because APNU + AFC only got one vote and only two came out of the PPP might be tiny but when you look from a Holistic point of view, if the UNPA + AFC is to get one vote from each ballot box you are talking over 2000 votes and if the PPP also loses two votes or one vote from each ballot box you are talking about more than 2 000 votes so clearly that there were problems in these ballot boxes and whatever the gap you have to take note of, ”he said.
Mahipaul said he was concerned about the lack of a poll book for region three, which was then made available after “constant objections and some of the errors we found”.
GECOM commissioners will likely brief reporters later Wednesday after the end of the first day of the count.
Candidate of the APNU + AFC, Coretta Mc Donald corroborated that the counting was until the lunch hour rather ordered. “Before, the mood was very tense, but as the process started and we started to move forward, the tension started to ease,” she told reporters. She said two minor issues were resolved very quickly at post seven regarding the validity of votes based on how people marked the ballot to vote for the parties of their choice. “Other than that, the process at station seven went really well. People accepted the count as it was. So far everything is going well and I am looking forward to what will happen this afternoon and the rest of the week, ”she said.
One of the highest points of tension was a shouting match between the representative of the UNPA + AFC, Carol Joseph, and the representative of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Ganga Persaud, who opposed the a clarification that she requested from a GECOM manager at her metering station.
The count will be made for the presidential / parliamentary elections then for the elections of the regional councils. There are 2,339 ballot boxes containing over 400,000 votes.
Votes have already been counted, results declared and provided to Chief Electoral Officer Keith Lowenfield, who has already compiled and submitted his report to GECOM President, retired judge Claudette Singh. However, she refused to submit this report to the seven-member commission for certification of results as an APNU + AFC winner.
The recount is being carried out against a backdrop of concerns about the PPP and threats of sanctions from the United States, Great Britain, Canada and the European Union if the elections do not reflect the will of the Guyanese.
Although the Carter Center representative was not allowed to travel to Guyana to observe the count, there were other local and international observers. GECOM spokeswoman Yolanda Ward said on Wednesday that there were 91 party agents and 14 observers from the European Union, Canada, the Organization of American States (OAS), the Committee on Relations Ethnic Groups (ERC), the American Chamber of Commerce – Guyana, CUFFY 250 and the Private Sector Commission (PPC).