Guyana waited long enough for result – UK Minister
Calls continue to mount for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to make a declaration based on the results emanating from the National Recount, which was certified not only by GECOM but also by a team of scrutineers from the Caribbean Community (Caricom).
This latest call was made by the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) Minister for Overseas Territories and Sustainable Development, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg.
In a tweet on Saturday, Baroness Sugg said “Guyanese people have waited long enough for election results. Now all legal processes have been completed I urge Guyana Elections Commission to declare a result based on @CARICOMorg scrutinised recount. Every vote must count, all must respect those votes, regardless of the result.”
The UK Government, through its High Commission here in Guyana and other senior government officials, have been vocal and stern against a non-democratic transition of Government in Guyana.
The 33-day National Recount has 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.
Chief Elections Officer (CEO) Keith Lowenfield on June 16 was directed by the GECOM Chair, Retired Justice Claudette Singh, to submit his final elections report based on the recount results.
However, before he could have presented his report, APNU/AFC supporter Elsyn David filed legal proceedings 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.
PPP/C Presidential Candidate Irfaan Ali and General Secretary Bharrat Jagdeo had moved to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) to challenge the Appeal Court’s jurisdiction and its decision that “more votes cast” in the Recount Order means “more valid votes cast”.
The Trinidad-based regional court on Wednesday ruled that the Appeal Court had no jurisdiction to hear the matter in the first place and as such, invalidated its decision. The CCJ also invalidated the CEO’s report in which he dumped over 115,000 votes.
Following this, the GECOM Chair, (ret’d) Justice Claudette Singh, on Thursday wrote Lowenfield once again to submit his final report based on the recount figures. Instead, of doing that, he asked for clarity on what he is supposed to do.
In response, the GECOM Chair reiterated that her Thursday letter remains in effect. While Lowenfield did submit his report on Saturday, he used the fraudulent figures of embattled Region Four Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo to give the caretaker coalition a win.
During the recount exercise, Mingo’s figures were found to be heavily inflated in favour of the APNU/AFC.