International Leaders Again Urge For Conclusion To Guyana’s Elections

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Caribbean News, Latin America News:

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 25, 2020: The U.S, Department of Western Hemisphere joined CARICOM, the Commonwealth, and western ambassadors in Guyana Wednesday, to again call for a swift resolution to the 114-day-old elections.

Michel Kozak, Acting Assistant Secretary for U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted last evening: “Guyana’s electorate spoke clearly & respected international observers @OAS_official & @CARICOMorg have certified the recount results as credible. We join them in calling for a conclusion to the electoral process in #Guyana & the announcement of a winner.”

His Tweet came after CARICOM Chair and Barbados’ Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, issued her strongest statement yet on the elections and the first since the CARICOM report on the recount was presented.

Mottley on Wednesday slammed the “gamesmanship” surrounding the Guyana elections and expressed bewilderment that  the  Chief Election Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission could cancel over 115,000 votes.

“Regrettably we have seen a level of gamesmanship that has left much to be desired and has definitely not portrayed our Caribbean region in the best light,” she said. “This is definitely NOT our finest hour and we MUST NOT shy away from that reality.”

Mottley reiterated “that if there is any evidence of fraudulent or improper conduct then there is a clear and well accepted route to deal with these matters. It is through an Election Petition to an Election Court.”

And she stressed: “I assure you that the Community remains committed to the people of Guyana and remains resolute that the report of its Observer Mission was very clear in its conclusions as to the will of the Guyanese people as reflected in the recount which they monitored.”

See full statement

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Patricia Scotland, also weighed in yesterday noting: “The Commonwealth continues to be concerned that the 2 March 2020 General Election process in Guyana is not yet concluded.”

“We call on all responsible parties to consider the consequences to Guyana’s reputation as a democratic country if such an approach was allowed to stand,” she added. “Guyana is a valued member of our Commonwealth family and I encourage all stakeholders in Guyana to honour their constitutional duties by ensuring a fair and transparent political process.”

And the representatives of the US, UK, Canada and the European Union (EU) also expressed concern at the continuing delay in declaring the results of the March 2nd elections and said that pending the outcome of the current appeal to the CCJ they trust that GECOM will use the figures from the recount.

The statements came a day after an astounding report from the Chief Election Officer Keith Lowenfield that he had cancelled over 115,000 votes.

The Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Sarah-Ann Lynch, the British High Commissioner, H.E. Greg Quinn, the Canadian High Commissioner, H.E. Lilian Chatterjee, and the Ambassador of the European Union, H.E. Fernando Ponz-Canto stated: “We believe election results are long overdue and, in that regard, we applaud the patience and peacefulness displayed by the people of Guyana.  Pending the outcome of the appeal to the CCJ, we trust GECOM to meet its constitutional duty to issue a Declaration on the basis of the results of the Recount as confirmed by CARICOM, to ensure the democratic choice of the people is fulfilled.”

This despite the fact that a certified recount of the election results from March 2nd showed that the country’s main opposition Peoples Progressive Party/Civic, (PPP/C,) won the elections with 233,336 votes, while the incumbent A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change, (APNU/AFC) garnered 217,920 votes.

The winner by a difference of 15,416 votes in the country that could be coming into wealth from it new found oil sector, was certified by the country’s Guyana Election Commission in its recount, overseen by international and regional observers, including CARICOM scrutineers.

A hearing before the Caribbean Court of Justice, CCJ, is set for July 1st.

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