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Trinidad’s Prime Minister concerned about CARICOM headquarters in politically unstable Guyana

Last Updated on Saturday, 4 April 2020, 12:05 by Writer

Flashback: President David Granger and Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Keith Rowley briefing the media shortly after signing a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is very disappointed and very concerned about the political situation in Guyana, saying that political instability in the country of the 15-nation Caribbean Community (CARICOM) headquarters would not be good.

Rowley shied away from giving his position on what would be CARICOM’s position if David Granger is sworn in again under a cloud of electoral irregularity.

But he suggests that with the CARICOM headquarters in Guyana, that will be an awkward position for the regional integration movement. “You must remember that the headquarters of CARICOM is situated in Georgetown so all of this is cause for concern so we can’t accept a situation where in the headquarters country what is being threatened comes to pass.

We cannot countenance that and that is why I am hoping that we come to a speedy conclusion to this and that a decision is made which the Guyanese people can be comfortable with going forward,” Rowley told CCN TV6’s Elizabeth Williams in an interview.

More than 30 years ago, then Dominica Prime Minister Eugenia Charles had been advocating for the removal of the CARICOM headquarters during the period of the Forbes Burnham-led dictatorship of the People’s National Congress (PNC).

With the elections now in court one month after Guyanese voted on March 2, he does not believe that the political situation will end nicely.

Mr Rowley is also unsure what further role the CARICOM can play, having already arranged and dispatched a high-level team of scrutineers to supervise the recount.

However that team did not get down to work because an incumbent APNU+AFC candidate, Ulita Moore, had asked for a judicial review of the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM) decision to conduct a national recount.

“We had to get out of there and I don’t know where that leaves CARICOM now…Having gone in here… I don’t know where that leaves CARICOM now and that’s why I have this very unsettling feeling but with every passing day, I am hopeful that something happens…because it will not end well and nobody is going to benefit from this in Guyana,” he said.

The Guyana Court of Appeal will Sunday morning give its decision on whether the High Court can conduct a judicial review of GECOM’s recount decision.

GECOM on Friday reconfirmed its decision to conduct the recount but is yet to finalise arrangements for doing so.