Opposition Commissioners say Recount can be done in 10 days

By Kemol King, Apr 10, 2020 News 0, Source - Kaieteur News Online - https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...-recount-to-10-days/

A recount of all the votes cast in the 2020 General and Regional Elections could reasonably take about 10 days, with the right arrangements. This is the view of the Commissioners nominated by the Leader of the Opposition.

https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/images/2020/04/Gunraj-2-scaled.jpg

Opposition-nominated Commissioner Sase Gunraj presented a revised plan to the Commission yesterday

Their plan was presented yesterday at the Commission’s High Street, Kingston office.

Commissioner Robeson Benn had been quite incensed, the day before, by a plan proposed by Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, for which the arrangements saw such a recount lasting 156 days.

But according to explanations given by both Commissioners Gunraj and Vincent Alexander yesterday, the arrangements which led to the production of Lowenfield’s initial plan were limited by instructions of the Commission, especially as it relates to the number of workstations being used. Alexander said that it is instructive to note that when the CEO proposed 156 days, he arrived at that duration on two main premises.

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

It appears that it was Lowenfield’s understanding, after seeking clarity from the Commission, that it would take an average of two hours to count one box. Secondly, the Commissioner who criticized Lowenfield’s initial plan as impractical and unhelpful is the very Commissioner who had indicated that there should be two Commissioners at each workstation, according to information provided by Alexander. Hence, while public outcry expressed the need to have more workstations, it was only logical for Lowenfield’s secretariat to conclude, at the time, that there would be only three workstations, as there are six Commissioners.

“It is rather unfortunate that [when] the CEO follows on from what we have said to him… he is lambasted by Commissioners in the public,” Alexander said.

“It is very unfortunate that that is the manner of conduct of GECOM.”
Gunraj explained, now that that has been cleared up, that the removal of such a restriction means the number of workstations can easily be expanded.

Gunraj made a proposal for the number of workstations to be increased from three to 20. While a significant increase to the number of workstations would logically reduce the duration of the recount, the Commission has to take into consideration the implications of COVID-19 and the necessary safety measures.

Gunraj said that the understanding is that a single workstation would have about 15 persons. This appears to be a cursory assumption, given that the number of observers to be present at the recount still has to be sorted, after talks are had between the missions and GECOM. GECOM has agreed on the presence of the persons entitled to witness the process, as mandated by the Representation of the People Act, including observers and party agents. Alexander said it was agreed that one party representative would be facilitated for each workstation.

Considering Gunraj’s proposal of 15 persons per workstation, with 20 workstations, that plan would place 300 persons in a single compound.

Gunraj, who said he has considered the size of the Arthur Chung Conference Centre – inside and outside, is comfortable that the venue can accommodate so many persons, even with the necessary COVID-19 safety precautions.

He said that GECOM is being as responsible as possible in its discussions, where the COVID-19 outbreak is concerned. Government – who, according to former Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, should be approached to facilitate the recount – should have no issue simply looking over GECOM’s notification that it intends to carry out a recount, and grant a “no objection”, Gunraj said.

Gunraj has also proposed – and has said that there is some consensus on this – that there should be some amount of parallelism in the completion of the process. With such an arrangement, the number of workstations counting would be split into two teams, where one team begins in numerical order from district one, while the other team works on the largest and more contentious district four.

Further, Gunraj proposed a marginal increase from Lowenfield’s initial in the number of hours working, from 10 to 12.

With all of this in consideration, it is pertinent to note that no decision has yet been made on the number of workstations, and that such a decision is subject to an examination of the venue and a grant of the permission to use it, the Commissioners explained yesterday.

This all means that a duration for the recount is not yet conclusive either, as such a determination is dependent on an examination of the afforementioned and a few factors, such as the time taken to examine one ballot box, which Gunraj has suggested would take an average period of one hour, instead of two. Alexander said that the determination of how long this would take is an average, as some boxes contain more ballots than others.

He noted too that the time taken to count the ballots is not just a numerical count, but an examination of the veracity of all of the boxes’ contents.

All of this considered, Gunraj posited that more than a thousand of the boxes have less than 200 ballots cast, and that 200 of the boxes have less than 50 ballots.

“As a consequence,” he said, “time to count cannot be as burdensome, all things considered.”

On the role of CARICOM, GECOM has agreed in principle that CARICOM should come back and play an elevated role, relative to the other observers. However, Gunraj said that GECOM has to treat very carefully with any elevated role for an observer, given the Appeal Court’s recent order that GECOM cannot delegate its constitutionally mandated supervisory authority to another institution.

Alexander said that people will raise questions about the role of CARICOM, but that it is important to have CARICOM participating in the process as a validating third party. Asked why this is so necessary, the Commissioner pointed to the statements critical of GECOM, which had indicated that there would be little acceptance of the validity of the count if there isn’t such a third party to vouch for the credibility of the process.
Alexander said that GECOM is being responsive to those concerns.

Another consideration in play is the group of declarations currently in the possession of GECOM. While GECOM had recently decided that it would not consider Lowenfield’s report on those, they are yet to be conclusively set aside.

Gunraj said he is hoping to have them scrapped after the Commission’s next meeting.

Alexander on the other hand, said that once the recount causes GECOM to arrive at a final declaration, the initial declarations would become irrelevant. But he did say that a part of the process for the recount includes having to gazette an order indicating the recount exercise that GECOM has to embark on, and that it is his view that the crafting of that order would implicitly nullify the previous declarations. He said that the order is expected to be made once the Commission’s discussions on the recount have concluded.

GECOM is also evidently out of consensus on the role of the Commissioners during the exercise. Alexander explained that there is one Commissioner who insists that the Commissioners should insert themselves into the execution of the process. However, he said that other Commissioners disagree and are of the collective view that the Commissioners, as crafters of the process and the final arbiters on it, should not actively insert themselves into its execution.

Commissioner Charles Corbin had once told reporters that the Commission is not a body that is heavily involved in the operations of the secretariat, that it is a policymaking body, while the secretariat deals with operational matters.

Otherwise, the Commission has agreed on the reporting mechanism and its accompanying methodology, which must now be refined to a final document for consideration by the Commission, which would reflect the discussions had yesterday.

Alexander said that GECOM’s legal officer is now expected to present notes to Lowenfield so that he can finalise another draft plan. The GECOM Secretariat must consider all of yesterday’s discussions and revise its plan for presentation to the Commission again.

GECOM will meet again when that plan is completed.

Original Post
Demerara_Guy posted:

Opposition Commissioners say Recount can be done in 10 days

By Kemol King, Apr 10, 2020 News 0, Source - Kaieteur News Online - https://www.kaieteurnewsonline...-recount-to-10-days/

A recount of all the votes cast in the 2020 General and Regional Elections could reasonably take about 10 days, with the right arrangements. This is the view of the Commissioners nominated by the Leader of the Opposition.

Commissioner Robeson Benn had been quite incensed, the day before, by a plan proposed by Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, for which the arrangements saw such a recount lasting 156 days.

But according to explanations given by both Commissioners Gunraj and Vincent Alexander yesterday, the arrangements which led to the production of Lowenfield’s initial plan were limited by instructions of the Commission, especially as it relates to the number of workstations being used. Alexander said that it is instructive to note that when the CEO proposed 156 days, he arrived at that duration on two main premises.

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

Guyana Laws does not stipulate that Commissioners must be present at the work stations.

Designated individuals of political organizations, foreign representatives etc., are to be present to oversee the process to ensure that the numbers presented by the GECOM officials represent the SOPs.

Demerara_Guy posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

Guyana Laws does not stipulate that Commissioners must be present at the work stations.

Designated individuals of political organizations, foreign representatives etc., are to be present to oversee the process to ensure that the numbers presented by the GECOM officials represent the SOPs.

That's true ,these guys just changing the rules.

Django posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

Guyana Laws does not stipulate that Commissioners must be present at the work stations.

Designated individuals of political organizations, foreign representatives etc., are to be present to oversee the process to ensure that the numbers presented by the GECOM officials represent the SOPs.

That's true ,these guys just changing the rules.

That’s correct. The three government commissioner. You hit the nail on the head. 

What’s Next? 

APNU/AFC holds power through “coup d’état” – ex-PNCR MP

…says Lowenfield guilty of treason

Former People’s National Congress Reform (PNCR) parliamentarian and party financier Anthony Vieira believes the international community will have no option now but to declare that they see that a coup has been carried out in Guyana by David Granger and the other military men he has surrounded himself with since 2015.
https://guyanatimesgy.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/tony-viera-205x300.jpg
Former PNC parliamentarian and party financier, Anthony Vieira
Vieira gave the damning conclusion in a public missive on Monday and also accused Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield of treason by depriving the rightful winner of the legitimate election result he is entitled to, and putting Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to post a totally fictitious result. He said by doing so, Lowenfield and Mingo have, in fact, overthrown the winner.
Defending his coup d’état allegation, Vieira construed the notion as an illegal, unconstitutional seizure of power by a political faction, the military, or a dictator when the usurpers seize and hold power for at least seven days.
As such, Vieira reasons, “it has been 37 days (yesterday); I am saying that all of these shenanigans are part of a coup d’état, because our democratic system has failed to identify the legitimate winner in the 2020 elections after 37 days, and has deprived me and the majority of the people in this country who, like me, voted for a political party which has been deprived of assuming power.”
According to the former PNCR Member of Parliament, for an accusation of a coup to be valid, one must establish that the people who have seized power are in fact benefiting from it and noted that Ministers –whose period of function expired on March 2 – are continuing in those positions.
Speaking to the CEO’s proposed plan of 156 days for a national recount of the March 2 General and Regional Elections, the former PNCR parliamentarian said: “Anyone who now believes that 156 days will be required to count the 400,000+ votes of the 2020 elections would be very naive and would have had to be blindfolded since 2018.”
He qualified the 2018 timeline by accusing Lowenfield of violating the Constitution of Guyana by not holding an election within 90 days of the passage of the no-confidence motion and then telling the country that he needed 181 days to hold the general election, “when in fact it was delayed, due to every conceivable delay possible, for 438 days.”
According to Vieira, “…anyone in this country still believes that we need 156 days to recount 400,000 votes and that even this ridiculous time frame will be honoured is sadly living in fantasy land; these desperate people will find a way to delay much longer and how can they do it? Well, they seem to have the armed Guyana Defence Force under control, so not only is this a coup d’état, it is a military coup d’état, with no end in sight.”
He was adamant “we have to find a way to stop this charade…This is no longer a situation which simply seeks to delay the publishing of a credible result of the 2020 elections in Guyana which will be acceptable to the international community; this has gone much further”.
Vieira served as a PNCR MP under the PNC List of Candidates headed by David Granger as Opposition Leader, and held the portfolio of Shadow Minister of Agriculture.
Dave posted:
Django posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

Guyana Laws does not stipulate that Commissioners must be present at the work stations.

Designated individuals of political organizations, foreign representatives etc., are to be present to oversee the process to ensure that the numbers presented by the GECOM officials represent the SOPs.

That's true ,these guys just changing the rules.

That’s correct. The three government commissioner. You hit the nail on the head. 

What’s Next? 

Which GECOM Commisioner ,suggested they should be at the work station ?

Tola posted:
cain posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
...........

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

 

By reading this I came to the conclusion Kemol King must have been to school same month as Dave.

Must be around de time he 'S' bruk

Are you trying to be a comedian?

Ramakant-P posted:
Tola posted:
cain posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
...........

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

 

By reading this I came to the conclusion Kemol King must have been to school same month as Dave.

Must be around de time he 'S' bruk

Are you trying to be a comedian?

The PPP tribe been a comedy show here for years. 

Tola posted:
Ramakant-P posted:
Tola posted:
cain posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
...........

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

 

By reading this I came to the conclusion Kemol King must have been to school same month as Dave.

Must be around de time he 'S' bruk

Are you trying to be a comedian?

The PPP tribe been a comedy show here for years. 

And you can never be like them or fill their shoes.

Ramakant-P posted:
Tola posted:
Ramakant-P posted:
Tola posted:
cain posted:
Demerara_Guy posted:
...........

These are the time it would take to count one ballot box and the number of Commissioners to be present at each workstation.

 

By reading this I came to the conclusion Kemol King must have been to school same month as Dave.

Must be around de time he 'S' bruk

Are you trying to be a comedian?

The PPP tribe been a comedy show here for years. 

And you can never be like them or fill their shoes.

Who wants to, it stinks. 

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