Apr 07, 2020 News
Two political parties, a local observer and an online petition are asking Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) Chair Justice (ret’d) Claudette Singh, to ensure that the recount of all votes cast in the March 2020 elections is broadcast live for the world to see. The request comes at a time when GECOM is seeking to iron out the modalities of the recount.
Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield has been given the mandate of developing a plan for the execution of the recount, to present to the Commission tomorrow.
Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) Leader, Lenox Shuman wrote a letter to the Chair highlighting the need for transparency.
Shuman pointed to the role of political parties and their nominees as stated in Article 161B of the Constitution of Guyana: “It is hereby declared that the role of the Political Parties and their nominees in the conduct of elections by the elections commission shall be limited to their participation in determining policy, monitoring the electoral process and the conduct of elections, but does not include active management of the elections.”
Against this backdrop, and that of the events following March 2, Shuman asked that the media be present so they may provide live broadcast at, and of the recount.
“This provides the absolute greatest degree of transparency that would instill public confidence in the process and the results of these elections.”
The LJP leader further asked that district four returning officer, Clairmont Mingo, and GECOM’s Deputy Chief Elections Officer, Roxanne Myers, be excluded from the recount, as there have been accusations against them which have cast a shadow of doubt on GECOM’s ability to produce free, fair and credible elections.
People’s Progressive Party (PPP) general secretary Bharrat Jagdeo also discussed the need for a live stream of the recount during a recent press conference. He said that it is necessary for the recount to be transparent, and that the presence of observers, especially CARICOM, is essential.
Kaieteur News spoke with Chairman of the Private Sector Commission (PSC), Captain Gerry Gouveia yesterday. The PSC, as a local observer of the 2020 general and regional elections, has been outspoken about the issues coming out of the electoral process, and has even written to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to ensure that a watchful eye is kept on the process. Gouveia said that for GECOM to have the recount televised would be for it to show the utmost symbol of transparency.
An online petition has also been circulating for live video coverage of the recount, with over 8,930 signatures already added in support as of 7:00 pm yesterday.
A note attached to the petition states “We the Guyanese citizens are requesting that GECOM hold a transparent recount of the March 2nd election ballots, specifically a live video broadcast. This will ensure that all stakeholders and voters have an opportunity to witness the recount for themselves.”
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