Commonwealth SG urges GECOM to make declaration based on figures from National Recount
Elections Declaration 2020
ꟷ encourages stakeholders to accept results
Pressure has increased both locally and internationally for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to use the figures emanating from the National Recount to make a final declaration of the March 2 General and Regional Elections.
This call was reiterated by the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Baroness Patricia Scotland, on Sunday.
“I urge all political actors and stakeholders in Guyana to accept and respect the results of the National Recount and ensure that their words and actions promote an environment of peace, harmony and social cohesion among all Guyanese,” she said in a statement.
Baroness Scotland endorsed the July 9 missive from Chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Prime Minister of St Vincent and the
Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, who had called on all stakeholders to respect the ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Guyana’s final court of appeal.
The CCJ last Wednesday ruled that Guyana’s Court of Appeal had no jurisdiction to hear the matter filed by APNU/AFC supporter, Eslyn David. As such, the regional court invalidated the Appeal Court’s decision that “more votes cast” in the Recount Order means “more valid votes cast” as well as the fraudulent report submitted by Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield, who had dumped over 115,000 votes.
The Commonwealth SG on Sunday noted that in accordance with the
applicable laws and the Constitution of Guyana, the CCJ exercised its final appellate jurisdiction and handed down a clear and unambiguous ruling.
She referenced CCJ President, Justice Adrian Saunders, who in delivering the ruling said: “It is for GECOM to ensure that the election results are swiftly declared in accordance with the Laws of Guyana.”
According to Baroness Scotland, Guyana is a much-loved and valued member of the Commonwealth. As such, on behalf of the entire Commonwealth family, she strongly encouraged the Elections Commission to follow the directions given by the CCJ and decisively conclude the March 2, 2020 elections based on the results of the National Recount.
“The will of the people as expressed in the 2 March 2020 General and Regional Elections must be respected for democracy to prevail in Guyana,” she contended.
Moreover, the Commonwealth SG went on to point out that Guyana’s destiny as a great nation rests on the shoulders of those men and women who are duty-bound to make the right decision. This, she asserted, includes respecting the will of the people and the rule of law, and being ready to place the country before personal ambitions.
“The Commonwealth calls all leaders to be faithful to the common good, so that Guyana’s future may truly be forged today,” Baroness Scotland stated.
On Saturday, CEO Lowenfield submitted his elections report to GECOM but instead of using the recount figures, after being directed to do so twice by the GECOM Chair, he included the fraudulent figures of embattled District Four Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, to give the caretaker APNU/AFC a win.
However, the certified 33-day recount exercise shows a landslide victory for the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C), which secured 233,336 votes while the caretaker coalition obtained 217,920 votes – a difference of 15,416 votes.
In Lowenfield’s latest fraudulent report, he gives the APNU/AFC 236,777 votes and the PPP/C 229,330 votes.
The seven-member Elections Commission is expected to meet today to discuss the report.
Only last month, the Commonwealth SG, who had deployed a team to monitor Guyana’s March 2 polls, had expressed concerns after Lowenfield had submitted yet another fraudulent report “…that do not reflect that which was certified at the end of the recount process.”
Baroness Scotland noted in the June 24 missive that this is contrary to the fundamental principles which are treasured by the Commonwealth family and enshrined in the Commonwealth Charter. As such, she had called for stakeholders in Guyana to honour their constitutional duties by ensuring a fair and transparent political process.