The Guyana Elections Commission is still to decide whether it will allow a recount of votes at a number of polling stations across the country as requested by the People’s Progressive Party.
GECOM Chairman Dr. Steve Surujbally told media operatives on Wednesday midday that he is seeking legal advice on the matter.
He has assured that should there be a legitimate reason that GECOM cannot do the recount, then it would not be done.
“I think for everybody body’s benefit the recount should be done,” Surujbally said as he disclosed that already the Commission has begun to organize the persons needed and other logistics in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 8 where the recount is to be carried out.
While the PPP may have officially requested recounts in those four districts, at a party press conference on Wednesday also, PPP Candidate Dr. Frank Anthony said the party will be requesting recounts in all 10 regions.
The Chairman said while he has not directly received the request for a recount, the PPP Civic has provided their basis for these recounts which included a claim that there were too many rejected ballots at some polling stations.
All the international observer missions and envoys of the American, British and Canadian governments in Guyana have already pronounced that the elections were free, fair and credible with no irregularity or disturbance they believe is major enough to impact the final results.
But despite these pronouncements the ruling party has specifically requested a recount of sixteen ballots boxes in District One, ninety eight boxes in District Two, eight boxes in District Eight two hundred and seventy six boxes in District Four.
Surujbally said he has been unofficially informed that all districts have been challenged. He fears that should the commission refuse to carry out the recount, on a legal basis, the final declaration of results can be challenged in the Court.
But the challenge from the opposition is that the period by which the law prescribes for this recount to be requested has already elapsed.
The Chairman has committed to conclude the recount at the fastest possible time and says he will begin to release raw data later this evening for the media to make its assessment of trends.
The Law states that when a Returning Officer makes the declaration of the polls, a challenge for a recount needs to be made by noon the following Day. The contention is that since Statements of Polls were published outside polling places , that is an indication of a declaration then that the time has elapsed.
The law also states that the Chairman can order the recount if he decides on the reasonableness of the request which Dr. Surujbally has indicated that the claim of too many rejected ballots was indeed a reasonable request.