News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. March 12, 2020: CARICOM’s top leaders are in the house in Guyana, arriving in the country yesterday with a goal to helping broker a peace deal between the incumbent A Partnership For National Unity + Alliance For Change and the main opposition People Progressive Party/Civic, as election results there remain unofficial.
CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, along with Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley; Dominica PM Roosevelt Skerritt; Grenada PM Dr. Keith Mitchell and St. Vincent and the Grenadines PM Dr. Ralph Gonsalves accompanied by the Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community, are there for talks with elections stakeholders on both sides in Guyana.
Their arrival came as the country’s Acting Chief Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, ruled that the declaration of the results for the voting Region Four, which encompasses Demerara to Mahaica, by Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo was unlawful.
As such she ruled that the results are null and void and vacated. She also ordered that the Guyana Elections Commission cannot declare a final result until the declaration for Region Four is properly done and ruled that the process required for the declaration should begin by today, March 12th, at 11 a.m.
Her ruling comes as the Transparency Institute Guyana Inc (TIGI) local observer team for the 2020 elections said the “GECOM has a duty and owes it to the people of Guyana to verify the results of the elections before announcing a winner.”
“All this must precede the swearing-in of a president.,” the group said. “Should a president be sworn-in prior to verification of the results, the legitimacy of that president and his/her regime will remain questionable and GECOM would have shredded its credibility and that of its officers.”
“We also believe that no leader worthy of the presidency and of the responsibility to lead the development of our society would countenance such a cloud over his/her leadership. Even when systems fail, leadership cannot be allowed to fail,” TI-Guyana added.
The political parties and the local and international observers agree that an appropriate process for verification of the tabulated results was employed in all the regions except region 4. The transparent process was initially followed in region 4 then aborted.
“All Guyanese deserve and should demand nothing less than transparent verification of the results of the 2020 elections and all political parties, including those that might appear to have benefited from the opacity, should support only a transparent process,” the group added.
So will CARICOM be able to get through to the two main parties and pave the way for a return to tranquility, a fair counting of the ballots and a speedy declaration of the rightful winner of the elections?
They have done this in the past in Guyana and hopefully can do it again.
As Mottley has made it clear in her March 7th statement: “… the parties (must) recognize that the primary consideration must not only be who will be President but, moreso, who will be alive come next week or next month, for there cannot be a tolerance for any further loss of life.”
One person was killed in Guyana amid protests and clashes with police.