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“Order for Democracy” for democracy fighters

Last Updated on Monday, 1 March 2021, 22:50 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali Monday night announced that government would be conferring a national award on those responsible for insisting on a national vote recount and supervising the process that saw his People’s Progressive Party (PPP) being declared the winner of the general and regional elections.

“I have taken the decision to institute a national award, the Order of Democracy, in recognition of the contributions of those individuals and organizations who defied the riggers and defended our democracy,” he said in a statement.

The President’s statement was issued on the eve of the March 2- one year after the general and regional elections.

He said the names of those to be invested with the Order of Democracy will be announced later this year.

Dr. Ali did not name the organisations that were in the forefront of the campaign for a national vote recount and acceptance of the results. However, the several private sector organisations, the Federation of  Independent Trade Unions of Guyana and the Guyana Bar Association (GBA) are on record as calling for the swift declaration of accurate election results.

The President said a mischievous plan that had been hatched to  steal the elections had been resisted and repelled by Guyanese and the international community. “The Guyanese people went out to vote peacefully and orderly on that day, little suspecting that after the counting of the votes at the places of poll a devious plot would be triggered to subvert the democratic will of the people,” Dr. Ali said.

Fearful that Guyana would have “returned to the dark days of tyranny”, he said Guyanese of all walks of life including “political affiliation” united in blocking the attempt to trample the democratic will of the people. “March 2nd has therefore become a celebration of our people’s stoic defense of democracy. It represents the determination of our people to maintain Guyana as a democratic state which respects the rule of law, the separation of powers and the expressed will of the people through free and fair elections,” he said.