GEORGETOWN, Guyana – A three member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) team to observe the recounting of ballots in the disputed March 2 regional and general election, arrived here on Friday with CARICOM Chairman Prime Minister Mia Mottley “urging all concerned to ensure a credible and transparent recount process”.
The team, headed by Cynthia Barrow-Giles, senior lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies (UWI), includes the Commissioner of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission, John Jarvis and the Deputy Supervisor of Elections of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Sylvester King.
Mottley said the three members were part of the high level CARICOM team that had travelled to Guyana in March to participate in a scheduled recount of the ballots which had to be stopped. She said the other members were unavailable for this mission.
“The Community calls on all concerned to ensure a credible and transparent recount process, in order to provide legitimacy to any government which would be sworn in as a result. This process must be completed without further delay,” the Barbados Prime Minister said.
She thanked Canada, “For the generous support it has provided to CARICOM for this initiative”.
On Thursday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) said the CARICOM team would be taking on the role of scrutineer and will serve as a “third party” during the recount process.
GECOM has not yet named the date for the recount, but said that on 80 staff members who will be part of the process, participated in a one-day training exercise at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC), where the recount will take place.
Both the ruling coalition, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU) and the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) have claimed victory in the election that was observed by teams from the national, regional and international community.
GECOM has set a 25 day timeline for the recount process and earlier this week, Commissioner Vincent Alexander said the Commission should be able to commence the recounting process two days after the arrival of the team.(CMC)