Last Updated on Thursday, 14 May 2020, 21:26 by Denis Chabrol
Long-serving member of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Vincent Alexander on Thursday virtually ruled out the existing 10 declarations being used after the recount to determine a winner of the March 2, 2020 general elections.
“In my considered opinion, all things being equal I don’t see us doing that,” when asked whether there was a chance that the politically divided Elections Commission would eventually vote for the 10 regional declarations to be used by GECOM to make a final declaration of the results.
He also doubted that the Commission would eventually use a mix of declarations by the Returning Officers and the recount process to issue a declaration.
Alexander’s position came against the background of the recount order stating that the seven-member commission, which is politically divided, first has to decide whether the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield should use the data from the recount to submit a report to the commission for a declaration to be made.
The incumbent A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), which believed that the 10 declarations should have been used to declare a winner and have President David Granger sworn in for a second term, has been challenging the credibility of the results being produced by the recount.
On the question of whether the seven-member commission has the technical capacity to determine whether the results should be used by Lowenfield, Alexander said GECOM’s administration would first rely on his advice.
While People’s Progressive Party (PPP) General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo has expressed concern about that role of the commission in deciding whether the recount results should be used to declare the results, his party’s elections commissioner, Sase Gunraj said he made sufficient representation when the recount order was discussed. “I won’t say that I failed to address it properly,” he said, suggesting that the majority of the commissioners prevailed with the current version of the gazetted recount order.
Gunraj is confident that the results generated by the recount “are and will be the results of these elections.” “As I stand here, the results of this recount will be the results of this election,” he said.
PPP Executive Member and Agent at the vote recount, Anil Nandlall earlier Thursday admitted that his party’s election commissioners had been busy addressing other issues such as whether the recount should have been an audit, if cellular phones should have been used and whether the recount should have been live-streamed. “This here may have unfortunately fell through the crack but,as I said, we will cross that bridge when we reach it ” said Nandlall.
The GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh has refused a PPP request for the Region Four results at least to be nullified. Alexander is on record as saying that all 10 declarations are legal.