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No curfew extension for GECOM’s national recount; foreign scrutineers, observers must be quarantined for 14 days

The National COVID-19 Task Force has ruled out allowing a recount of general election votes after 6pm.

Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who chairs the Task Force, says in the government-controlled Guyana Chronicle newspaper that Guyana Elections Commission was told to adjust its 10-hour work hour schedule from 6am to 5pm.

Writing in his column, “My Turn”, in the government-controlled Guyana Chronicle newspaper, he said he told GECOM Chairman, Claudette Singh its work schedule “must not extend” into the curfew period – 6pm to 6am.

In apparent reference to the CARICOM high-level team’s scrutinising of the recount, Mr Nagamootoo also advised the GECOM Chairman that they “will have to be quarantined at a government institution for a period of 14 days.” A number of observer missions that had observed the March 2, 2020 polls are said to be on standby to send representatives to observe the recount.

He says this applies to all persons who are permitted special entry into Guyana during this period when Guyana’s air space is closed to in-bound passengers.

The National COVID-19 Task Force Chairman also asked GECOM to allow four technical experts of the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre to visit the Arthur Chung Conference Centre where the recount is expected to take place.

Mr. Nagamootoo says the experts will assess whether distancing arrangements conform to the pandemic guidelines and the published Order.

The GECOM Chairman last week decided that there would be 10 workstations if sufficient equipment is available to project the ballots on screens.