Last Updated on Saturday, 8 August 2020, 13:04 by Denis Chabrol
President Dr. Irfaan Ali on Saturday hinted that his administration would hold a commission of inquiry into the problems associated with the 2020 general and regional elections.
Addressing his inauguration as the 9th Executive President of Guyana, he said a forensic probe would be conducted into the circumstances surrounding the recent polls.
The President said those found culpable would be punished.
“A review of events – related to the electoral process over the last five months – will begin shortly in order to determine, forensically, exactly what transpired, and to hold accountable any persons who sought to pervert and corrupt the system,” he said.
The President said his administration would pursue the necessary reforms to make our democracy stronger and our electoral process more transparent.
The elections were held on March 2, 2020 but after a series of court battles the results were declared in early August.
Already, Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield is facing three private criminal charges related to the declaration of results. He is on GYD$450,000 bail.
Dr. Ali also thanked the Western Nations and their diplomats who “fearlessly defended” democracy in Guyana. He similarly lauas well as the Organisation of American States and the Commonwealth of former British colonies. He singled out former Barbados Prime Minister Owen Arthur who was a “warrior in our cause” for democracy. The now late Mr. Arthur was Head of the Commonwealth Observer Mission.
He pledged his commitment to fairness and equality to all Guyanese “cemented by unity.”
“I will be the President if all the people of Guyana and will serve you with fairness and equity. Not divided but cemented by unity,” he said.
The President also announced that constitutional reform would be pursued by his administration to include other stakeholders in running Guyana. In that regard, the President said countrywide consultations would be held in which “all ideas will contend and all voices will be heard.”
He also unveiled plans to combat the coronavirus and its socioeconomic impact. Dr. Ali also promised to keep his People’s Progressive Party’s election campaign promise to revive the sugar industry. He noted that the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited has stripped the cash-strapped Guyana Sugar Corporation instead of increasing sugar output and getting into sugar-based products.