Wed | May 27, 2020

Chief elections office proposes 156 days to recount ballots

Published:Thursday | April 9, 2020 | 12:21 AM

GEORGETOWN (CMC):

GUYANA’S CHIEF Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, has placed on the table a timeline of 156 days for a recount of all ballots cast in the March 2 elections.

However, Sase Gunraj, who is the opposition-nominated commission on the Guyana Electoral Commission (GECOM), says the timeline is unacceptable and he has undertaken to study and rework the proposal that was made by Lowenfield.

“We have received a plan from the secretariat and it has a lot of issues ... both sides of the commission have recognised that those issues need addressing. I have undertaken in short order to rework the document, including the proposal that I have in the process and submitting back same when we meet again at 9 o’clock (local time) tomorrow (Thursday),” Gunraj stated.

Quizzed on the proposed timeline for the recount, Gunraj said he has not given it much thought because it is a timeline that is untenable.

Gunraj assured that “the plan will be reworked. The plan envisages completion in 156 days and I would want to reject that out of hand. The nation cannot survive a 156 day wait”.

JUST A PROPOSAL

In response, government -nominated Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the proposal put forward by the CEO is just a proposal, and he would not want to share too many of his thoughts on it while it is still on the table being discussed.

“The plan that he put forward was a draft for discussion. Nothing is final, and it is under discussion,” Alexander said.

The commissioner said he would not want to offer comments on the timeline since it is still being studied.

The commission will meet again on Thursday morning to put forward some of its own proposals for the recount so that a proper final document could be completed.