Given the transgressions of the last month concerning the March 2nd elections, most Guyanese are eagerly awaiting the recounting of the votes and the subsequent declaration of the results. Thus, GECOM’s commitment to recount the votes is a welcome ray of light in this otherwise dark and troubling time. However, most Guyanese remain very wary given GECOM and the APNU-AFC various maneuvers to delay this exercise thus far.
It should come as no surprise that the APNU-AFC and their cohorts have invested considerable time, effort, and money to delay and/or prevent a credible process. Thus, they have no incentive to ensure that the recount is completed since they already know the results. The mere fact that they have called for the recount to begin in numerical sequence even though there is little or no contention over the results declared for nine regions is yet another ploy to delay the much-anticipated Region Four recount.
So, despite GECOM’s latest assurance to conduct the recount, there is little expectation that this exercise will begin, much less be completed in a timely manner. Even if the recount begins, it will be interrupted by hook or by crook. And even if it is completed, the declaration of the results by the Chief Elections Officer, whose conduct thus far leaves much to be desired will be hit by further legal and/or illegal roadblocks.
While the nation waits with deep trepidation, it is no coincidence that the one-month coronavirus lockdown just happens to be announced on the very day that GECOM agreed to recount the votes. While no one is questioning the public health risks posed by the coronavirus, it was only a matter of time before this pandemic was exploited to further frustrate a process that should have been concluded weeks ago.
With an expected further delay ensuing, it is less likely that the recount and formal declarations of the results will be known anytime soon, if at all. Given the strong international condemnation and threat of sanctions, I imagine that the APNU-AFC’s next move is to push for new elections while illegally remaining in office. Not only will a new election be a further waste of taxpayers’ dollars, it will not be free, fair, and credible given what we have seen this last month.
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