Mottley calls for collaboration to solve election crisis in Guyana
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), Prime Minister Mia Mottley of Barbados, is calling on the electoral officials and political parties in Guyana to let good sense prevail as the country awaits the outcome of regional and general elections.
Guyanese went to the poll last Monday, but no winner has been declared amidst claims and counter claims by the two leading political parties.
The ruling A Partnership for National Unity plus the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) and opposition Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) have both claimed victory.
On Thursday, the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) released results for the disputed Region Four. If certified, it would result in the ruling coalition winning by more than 59 000 votes and securing another term in office.
GECOM public relations officer, Yolanda Ward, had forwarded without comment images of Statutory Declaration Form 24. The Form shows the incumbent APNU+AFC securing 136 335 votes while the PPP/C has earned 77 258 a difference of 59 077.
But attorneys representing the PPP/C said they had been able to secure three injunctions from the High Court ordering GECOM to verify the results of Region Four. The matter comes up for hearing in the High Court on Saturday.
The following statement was issued by Mottley:
The Caribbean Community calls on the electoral officials in Guyana and the representative political parties to work together to achieve a peaceful and lawful completion of the electoral process in Guyana by ensuring the tabulation of the results in all Regions using the Statement of Polls in a transparent manner in the presence of the representatives of the political parties and the electoral observers.
Indeed, CARICOM issued a statement on Thursday night, and one was also issued yesterday from the Chief of the independent CARICOM Electoral Observation Team. Both statements called on GECOM to complete the electoral process.
We are very clear – every vote must be made to count, and transparently so.
We have noted that all sides have been making serious allegations against each other.
It is critical that good sense prevails. The preservation of law and order is paramount, and all parties must work hard to ensure that there is peace on the roads and in the communities across Guyana. There has already been one death reported overnight. That is one death too many.
In simple language, we ask the parties to recognise that the primary consideration must not only be who will be president but, more so, who will be alive come next week or next month, for there cannot be a tolerance for any further loss of life.
I have spoken to both the President and the Leader of the Opposition and indicated that CARICOM stands ready to be able to be there to facilitate further dialogue and any actions that are necessary.
We have done this on many occasions in the past, including in Guyana, when elections have been highly contentious and when social order and the rule of law have been threatened across the region.
We are family and this is what happens when there are disputes in families.
We will work together to create the space for dialogue and resolution once there is an acceptance on the part of all parties that there is a higher interest beyond simply the result in this election. ￼(PR/SAT/CMC)