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Updated: GECOM agrees to recount votes cast in general elections

The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) on Friday agreed to a national recount of votes cast in general elections on March 2, 2020, according to a spokeswoman for the commission.

Spokeswoman, Yolanda Warde says the recount will be in chronological order from Regions 1 to 10.

Following is a full statement by GECOM:

After considerable deliberations at the level of the Commission on the next steps following the decision of the Full Court, Chairperson of The Guyana Elections Commission, Justice Claudette Singh explained that she would be unable to renege on her undertaking to the Chief Justice to facilitate a recount of the votes cast in the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections.

In this regard, Justice Singh has decided that there would be a recount of all the regions in chronological order i.e. Region 1 – Region 10. She posited that her decision is against the backdrop of Article 162 (1) (b) of the Constitution of Guyana which mandates the Commission to “take such action as appear to it necessary or expedient to ensure impartiality, fairness and compliance with the provisions of the Constitution.”

Consequent to the foregoing, the Chief Election Officer (CEO) was asked to provide a framework for the operationalization of the recount. However, the CEO requested guidance from the Commission on a number of legal and procedural issues in relation to the recount and once clarified, he will proceed to operationalize the plan.

The meeting was adjourned and will commence discussions on the operationalization of the recount upon resumption.

The international community has for weeks now been intensifying pressure on Guyanese authorities to recount the votes after huge questions had been repeatedly raised about the credibility and transparency of the tabulation and declaration of results for Region Four.

The decision came even as the Guyana Court of Appeal was hearing an appeal by A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) candidate, Ulita Moore in another effort to get the High Court to hear a judicial review of GECOM’s decision in March to conduct a recount.

This appeal stems from the Full Court of the High Court ruling that the High Court cannot legally conduct a review and such matters need to be part of an elections petition after a declaration is conducted.

Moore wants the High Court to scrap the recount and order GECOM to accept the 10 electoral district declarations that have been already made and so pave the way for those results to be used to make a declaration and swear in the president.

APNU+AFC and the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) have both claimed victory.