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Western Nations call on GECOM to constitutionally declare results

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 June 2020, 13:56 by Denis Chabrol

The United States, Britain, Canada and the European Union on Wednesday called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to declare general and regional election results that reflect all of the votes that were cast on March 2, 2020, even as the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) prepares to hear an appeal on the question of valid votes.

“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,” the envoys in Guyana said in a joint statement.

GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield has presented a report on the results which shows that he taken away 115,000 votes that he considers that are not valid and credible based on guidance by the Guyana Court of Appeal in its decision on a case brought by an APNU+AFC supporter, Eslyn David. By a majority decision, the Court of Appeal ruled that “more votes cast” in Guyana’s constitution means “more valid votes cast” and should take account of the gazetted recount order that calls for a credible process.

The CCJ issued a temporary order on Tuesday blocking GECOM from declaring results of the polls held almost four months ago until a hearing and determination of the appeal by PPP General Secretary, Bharrat Jagdeo and its presidential candidate, Irfaan Ali.Following is the full text of the statement by the American, British, Canadian and European Union envoys in Georgetown.

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 are concerned that 114 days after the 2 March elections the people of Guyana continue to await the declaration of an election result.

It is important in our view that every vote, cast by every voter, be reflected in that declaration, in order to ensure that the will of the people of Guyana is respected. That respect includes an election declaration of results that mirrors the order and integrity displayed by the people of Guyana, GECOM and party officials, as witnessed by domestic and international observers during the 2 March general and regional elections.

We also note that the CARICOM observer mission, referred to as “the most legitimate interlocutor” by President Granger, concluded on 15 June that “nothing we witnessed, warrants a challenge to the inescapable conclusion that the recount results are acceptable and should constitute the basis of the declaration of results of the March 2, 2020 elections.”

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.