Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 May 2020, 20:03 by Denis Chabrol
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) Prime Ministerial candidate, Retired Brigadier Mark Phillips on Tuesday said the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) needs to count at least 93 boxes of ballots per day to finish the recount by May 31.
“By my calculation, we should be counting somewhere about ninety-three or more boxes per day in order to reach the twenty-five-day deadline and you know better than I do that we are far from doing ninety-three,” said Phillips who has not been seen publicly in political circles for several weeks.
GECOM spokeswoman, Yolanda Ward said at the end of Tuesday, 76 boxes were recounted at the now 12 workstations, two more having been added from Tuesday following approval by the National COVID-19 Task Force.
Phillips said, like the PPPC, he hoped that GECOM would establish “additional counting stations” at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre, Liliendaal, Greater Georgetown “as soon as possible because we are behind the curve.”
The former Chief-of-Staff reasoned that it would be possible to increase the number of stations in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols. The Task Force ditched GECOM’s plan to establish at least six more stations, citing poor adherence by GECOM staff at the recount centre to the anti-coronavirus rules such as social distancing, wearing of masks, availability of sanitisers and soaps.
Elections Commissioner, Vincent Alexander has already said the recount would go beyond May 31 and that the GECOM Chairman, Retired Justice Claudette Singh and the Secretary General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Irwin La Rocque would have to arrange for the three-member team of regional scrutineers to extend their stay in Guyana to oversee the recount.