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Small, sparsely populated Caribbean islands must keep out of the “Guyana problem”- Raphael Trotman

AFC Chairman, Raphael Trotman.

Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Raphael Trotman Saturday night said Caribbean island nations with mere hundreds of people in electoral constituencies must keep out of Guyana’s political business and allow the country to solve its problems.

Speaking on the Facebook page of A Partnership for National Unity+Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC), Mr Trotman said Guyana could be facing a “constitutional crisis” now that the Chief Elections Officer, Mr Keith Lowenfield’s report of results of the March 2, 2020 general and regional elections have been submitted. “I believe, as I have said, we are in the throes of a constitutional crisis. I don’t see how any section of the Representation of the People Act or any powers that the commission may have could overturn or undo that report,” he said.

Against the background of calls by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders, Dr Ralph Gonsalves of St Vincent and the Grenadines and Ms Mia Mottley of Barbados for the results of the regionally-supervised recount to be used to declare the winner, Mr Trotman stressed that the political situation here is a “Guyana problem” which must be solved by Guyanese instead of Caribbean island nations with small electoral boundaries. The AFC Chairman said people, who have constituencies of 300 to 400 people, would be unable to understand Guyana’s history, politics and nuances and “rightly tell us what to do or give us even proper guidance as to what to do.”

“I am all for CARICOM, I am all for regionalism but no people with constituencies with four and three hundred people could understand… I hate to say it but some of the countries in the region just cannot, unfortunately, provide the kind guidance that we need at this point in time. We wish them well. I know some of them think that they are doing well but they are not helping their own causes and they are not helping their own causes and they are not helping certainly the Guyana cause by issuing instructions and pronouncements,” he said. Mr Trotman said many of those island nations could not easily grasp concerns that 115,000 votes have been allegedly removed because in some instances that is more or less the total population of one of them.

The three CARICOM scrutineers, who had supervised the recount exercise, had issued a report saying that the data reflect the will of Guyanese and should be used to declare the results of the elections that have been held more than four months ago. That recount had been conducted based on agreement by President David Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo to invite CARICOM.

Mr Trotman flayed those foreign powers for appearing to be more interested in a “certain outcome” to the point of breaching international protocols and conventions and “say and do things which are unheard of “in contrast to what could be done in their States. The United States, Britain, Canada, European Union and the Organisation of American States have been in the forefront of calls for the national vote recount data to be used to declare the election results.

The AFC Leader believed that in the coming days Guyana’s political leaders would be called on to “find a way forward” so that “both sides could win and the country could win.” He hoped that those countries, some of which are in crises, would help Guyana find workable solutions rather than dictating. “We are prepared to speak as friends but not to be dictated to as subordinates,” he added.

Mr Trotman said now that the Chief Elections Officer has issued his report, the aggrieved political parties would have to await a declaration and challenge the result in a High Court election petition.