Wednesday 12 August, 2020

CARICOM Chairman: Time to end Guyana elections saga

CARICOM Chairman Dr Ralph Gonsalves says the results of Guyana’s March 2 regional and general elections are way overdue and it’s time for the charade to end.  

The St Vincent and the Grenadines prime minister, in a personal editorial, says he is also disturbed by reports of verbal abuse against leading personalities in the CARICOM Secretariat.  

Gonsalves states: “In a normal functioning democracy, what should have been a straight forward matter of counting votes has become the equivalent of a long-running soap opera, pregnant with real danger for the people of Guyana and the Caribbean Community.  

This charade ought to be brought to an end immediately and a just declaration made by the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) in keeping with the clear mandate delivered by the voters of Guyana, the laws of Guyana and the CCJ’s judgement.” 

The process to declare a winner in the elections has hit another snag as a private citizen has applied to the High Court to stop GECOM from declaring the polls using figures obtained during the national recount. 

That matter begins today (July 15).  

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Gonsalves notes on July 8 that the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) delivered its judgement which was lucid in every material particular.  

He says as Guyana’s final and highest appellate court, the CCJ is authoritative. “Any attempts however ingeniously clothed to litigate all over again this or that matter upon which there has been a final determination or upon which the CCJ has pronounced authoritatively upon is tantamount to an abuse of the process of the court or is frivolous and vexatious.” 

The CARICOM chairman notes that since the delivery of the CCJ’s judgement, the Chair of GECOM Claudette Singh has been seeking to bring finality to the elections, but continues to be frustrated.  

He says the entire world realises that a small group of persons in and out of Guyana are allegedly seeking to hijack the elections in plain sight. Gonsalves believes the leaders of CARICOM cannot and must not appear to be indifferent to and detached from what is happening in Guyana.  

He further made it clear that CARICOM defends democracy in Guyana and its voters.  

The CARICOM chairman also highlights what he says are disturbing credible reports that persons purportedly allied to certain political forces in Guyana have been verbally abusing leading personalities in the CARICOM Secretariat. 

This includes CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRocque.  

Gonsalves says this situation is wholly unacceptable. He is calling on President David Granger to denounce those who have been engaged in such threats.

The Vincentian prime minister's personal editorial was read on a local radio program on July 15. 

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