Guyana: GECOM still awaiting approval from Covid-19 Task Force to increase counting stations

Four of the GECOM Commissioners during a tour of the recount site [Photo: Bibi Khatoon/News Room]
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(Newsroom Guyana) – The Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) was Friday afternoon still awaiting a response from the National Covid-19 Task Force on its approval to increase the number of counting stations in the ongoing recount exercise.

Members of the Task force had visited the Arthur Chung Conference Center on Thursday where the recount is underway and promised a response on its assessment by Friday, giving GECOM high hopes that it would be able to increase the counting stations.

But up to 3pm on Friday, GECOM was still waiting to hear from the task force, even as it has already put in place one additional station.

Currently there are 10 counting stations. GECOM hopes to increase the pace with which the recount exercise is conducted by increasing the number of work stations to 16. In order the increase the stations, GECOM had sought permission for the task force in keeping with existing Covid-19 restrictions.

Opposition nominated GECOM Commissioner Sase Gunraj said it was disappointing for him that the failure of the Task Force to provide its report on its visit had stalled the plans of the electoral body.

“The understanding was that by end of this morning we would receive a correspondence following Thursday’s walk through,” Gunraj told reporters.

He opined that the progress of the recount was in turn being stymied by the Task Force.

He hinted at the political nature of the Task Force and said he questions whether the delay is to have an intentional debilitating effect on the process.

He said the recount is as equally important as COVID-19 concerns and he called on the Task Force to act swiftly to provide its report.

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