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Caricom leaders leave Guyana after election talks


Caricom leaders leave Guyana after election talks

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GEORGETOWN – A five-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) prime ministerial delegation was leaving here on Thursday after holding talks with the leaders of the two main political organisations as Guyana continues to await the results of the disputed March 2 regional and general election.

“We the leaders of the Caribbean Community are committed to working with the people of Guyana for a free and fair process and transparent process and we made it clear because there is simply too much at stake for the people of Guyana,” said Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, who is chairing the 15-member regional integration grouping.

Flanked by her colleagues from Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, Mottley told a news briefing prior to their departure after a two-day visit that Guyana is the “home, the seat of the Caribbean Community, Guyana is a founding member of the Caribbean Community and against that background we are clear that as a community of sovereign nations we cannot get involved in the internal processes, but we are family.

“A family does not stand by and watch others in the family suffer without making themselves available to be able to aid in the process. We have tried to do that, but we are also conscious that we will be as successful as the parties themselves want it to be successful,” she added.

On Wednesday, the Acting Chief Justice, Roxane George-Wiltshire, ruled that the declaration made by the Returning Office in Region 4 was “unlawful” and in breach of the Representation of the People’s Act.

The High Court had to decide whether or not the injunction granted to a supporter of the main opposition People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) to block the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the results of the elections was justified on the grounds that the votes declared for Region Four were not completely verified.

“We met with the election observers, and then again we met with the President and Mr Jagdeo very late last night, early into the morning, together, in order to be able to chart a process forward. . . .

“It is therefore even more important for us within the Caribbean Community to ensure that there is stability . . . .

“And it is against that background that we have appealed to both sides. Both sides committed to the fact that they want to be able to abide by the laws of Guyana and the constitution of Guyana. They have also committed that they believe that there ought to be a free and fair transparent process,” Mottley said.