As Guyana awaits the start of the recounting of votes cast at the 2nd March Elections, the Observer Mission from the Organisation of American States is urging the Guyana Elections Commission to have a transparent and consistent recount process.
In a statement issued this afternoon, the OAS Mission expressed concern that five weeks after the elections in Guyana, the country is still awaiting a final outcome.
The OAS wants GECOM to ensure that the procedures for the recount are transparent and consistent, that the instructions to election officials conducting the recount are unambiguous and based on the provisions of the relevant laws and that the public be fully informed of the methodology to be used.
The OAS team is also requesting that GECOM take particular care to ensure that the officials to be engaged in the recount are selected based on their impartiality and those who have displayed partisan behavior are excluded.
The Observer group also wants the duly authorized representatives of political parties and accredited observers to be allowed to see but not handle each ballot and for the legal provisions for challenging the determination of ballots be fully respected.
Additionally, the OAS team is requesting that the Commission ascertains whether the number of ballots cast corresponds with the number of persons recorded as having voted and for the result of the recount for each polling station be compared with the Statement of Poll signed by the Presiding Officer.
The Mission said it remains engaged to assist the people of Guyana in ensuring that their will prevails and that Guyana’s position as an internationally respected democracy is restored and preserved.
The Observer Mission fumed at the earlier proposal from the GECOM Secretariat which stated that the recount could take up to 156 days. The OAS Observer team said such a time period to count less than 500,000 ballots is unheard of.
The original proposal was dismissed by the Elections Commission and the Elections Commission Secretariat has since explained that it was based on recommendations and requests put forward by some of the Commissioners themselves, who later criticised the same plan.