…tells political leaders to refrain from acts that may fuel tension
The United Nations (UN) has joined calls for the final declaration of the results from Guyana’s March 2 General and Regional Elections so that the current political impasse can be brought to an end.
This statement was made by Stéphane Dujarric, who serves as the Spokesman for the UN Secretary General António Guterres, in response to questions on Guyana’s protracted electoral process.
According to Dujarric, the Secretary General took note of the July 8 ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) as the final instance.
“He stresses the importance of announcing final official results of the 2 March General and Regional Elections to the Guyanese people as soon as possible to end an impasse that has lasted more than four months,” the SG Spokesman stated.
Dujarric went on to say that the Secretary General also calls on all political leaders and their supporters to recognise and accept the final official results and refrain from any act or statement that may fuel tensions or incite violence in Guyana.
This is not the first time the SG Spokesman has commented on Guyana’s situation. In the height of the impasse back on March 13, Dujarric had expressed concerns over the tensions and noted that the Secretary General had urged all political leaders and their supporters to resolve any dispute over the results of the elections through constitutional and peaceful means.
Meanwhile, even the UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana, Mikiko Tanaka, earlier this month had called on political leaders and their supporters to refrain from acts that could incite hostility and violence.
“…We call on all political leaders and their supporters to remain patient and refrain from acts and remarks that could incite hostility or violence. I would like to reiterate the United Nations’ commitment to continue to support the people of Guyana,” Tanaka posited in the July 3 missive.
Her statement was made as Guyana was awaiting the decision from the CCJ, which on 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 CCJ 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 embattled Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield, who had disenfranchised over 115,000 voters.
The Trinidad-based regional court in its ruling, which was delivered by President Justice Adrian Saunders, further stated: “It is for GECOM to ensure that the CEO submits a report in accordance with his directives of 16th of June in order to proceed along the path directed by the laws of Guyana.”
This refers to the instructions by GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, who had directed Lowenfield in a letter dated June 16 last month to submit his final elections report using the figures from the National Recount.
The 33-day exercise confirmed that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won the March 2 elections with 233,336 votes while the caretaker APNU/AFC coalition obtained 217,920 votes – a difference of 15,416 votes.
However, just before Lowenfield was required to present his report, the Elsyn David matter was filed in the Appeal Court. But one day after that court’s ruling, which was stayed for three days, the CEO went ahead to submit his report in which he invalidated over 115,000 votes to give the APNU/AFC a win with 171,825 votes while the PPP/C was given 166,343 votes.
Now that the CCJ has invalidated that report, the CEO was once again instructed by the GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, on Thursday, to present a new elections report using the results from the National Recount. He was expected to submit this report on Friday but instead, asked for clarity from the GECOM Chair.
In response, Justice Singh told the CEO that she is standing by her Thursday letter and ordered that he submit his report at 11:00h today.