Tabulation resumes as Guyana awaits elections result
GEORGETOWN – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) says the tabulation exercise in Region 4 as ordered by the High Court will resume today as Guyana still awaits the official results of the March 2 regional and general elections.
“Stakeholders who were present and approved by the Returning Officer [on] March 12, 2020 are herby informed and requested to be present at the appointed time to witness the count,” GECOM public relations officer, Yolanda Ward, said in a statement.
Ward said that on Thursday, GECOM chair, retired justice Claudette Singh halted the tabulation process soon after the Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, recommenced the exercise in keeping with a ruling by the High Court on Wednesday.
Acting Chief Justice Roxanne George-Wiltshire had in her ruling nullified the earlier declaration by the Returning Officer, ruling that his declaration was unlawful. She ordered a return to the process but made it clear that it will be the Returning Officer who will be in charge of the process and who will decide on the method or type of process to be used for tabulation.
In the statement, Ward said that in compliance with the Chief Justice ruling, Mingo, using information from the statements of poll (SOP) “received by him directly from the polling station has completed a spreadsheet of the votes cast for each party.
“However, the methodology presented by the Returning Officer was not accepted by the stakeholders present,” Yarde said, noting that as a consequence the GECOM chair “intervened and explained that she is in receipt of an Order of the Court and not a written judgement”.
Singh noted that the High Court’s admonitions are in the written judgement and she has been “promised a copy of that document”.
In that regard it has been suggested that the process be discontinued and recommence when the chairperson has received and studied the written judgement,” Ward said.
Both major political organisations, the coalition, A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance for Chage (APNU+AFC) and the People’s Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) have accused each other of causing the delay while some of the international observers have issued statements calling on the tabulation to be resumed as soon as possible.
In its latest statement, GECOM gave no indication as to what process would be used in the tabulation exercise that should begin at 9 a.m.