Thu | Jul 9, 2020

Guyana opposition calls for vote recount in 10 days

Published:Friday | April 10, 2020 | 12:07 AM

GEORGETOWN (CMC):

The opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) has proposed that a national recount of votes from the March 2 general and regional elections can be done in 10 days and would not require as long as 156 days as suggested by Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield.

Speaking at his weekly press conference, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo said that the proposal for a 10-day recount, starting with the country’s largest voting district, Region Four, was made by PPP-nominated commissioners to the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Thursday.

“At the completion of the count for Electoral District 4, the count shall resume with Electoral District 1 and will proceed in numerical order,” the PPP has proposed, adding that the entire process should be live-streamed to ensure maximum transparency and respond to COVID-19 guidelines.

Although Lowenfield has submitted his proposal, GECOM is still to reach a decision.

The commission was meeting Thursday to put forward some of its own proposals for the recount.

Jagdeo suggested that the time proposed by Lowenfield was meant to “delay the announcement of the legitimate credible results of the elections”.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the PPP said the 156-day proposed time frame was “simply ridiculous”.

It noted that the law provides 15 days for declaration of results, including recounts and further recounts.

“Yet, Keith Lowenfield wants almost six months to count less than 500,000 ballots. This is obviously yet another ploy by Lowenfield, acting in concert with the rigging cabal, to continue their enterprise of derailing the electoral process and thwart the will of the electorate,” it said.

“Many components of the proposal presented are either unnecessary or are simply put forward to provide opportunities to corrupt the recounting process."

The PPP was adamant that it would not accept any proposal that is “farcical” or designed to keep A Partnership for National Unity-Alliance for Change coalition in office.