The failure to conclude the recount process by the 25-day deadline along with the increased pressure on CARICOM scrutinizers to serve during an extended period has damaged Guyana’s standing in the global community. Making this assertion in his recent writings was Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organization of American States (OAS), Sir Ronald Sanders.
The official was keen to note that the 25-day recount process which came to an end on May 30 was stretched out not by any inefficiency of the persons doing the recount but by constraints imposed on the process. To be exact, Sir Ronald said that the process was stretched out by “obfuscation and dilatory tactics.” Expounding further, the envoy said that a big part of the constraints is the protocols demanded by the Guyana COVID-19 task force which he said is essentially a political body headed by a caretaker prime minister left-over from the former government. The official commented that the protocols imposed by the COVID-19 task force limit the number of counting stations and persons who can be present for a count. On that premise, Sir Ronald in no uncertain terms said it is the task force’s protocols that contributed to the delays, by not allowing more counting stations with appropriate protocols.
These delays he noted resulted in the recount process being extended to June 16. As a consequence of this extension, Sir Ronald said that the three overburdened CARICOM scrutinizers, Cynthia Barrow-Giles (St Lucia/Barbados), John Jarvis (Antigua and Barbuda) and Sylvester King (St Vincent and the Grenadines), who are already in highly pressured circumstances away from their homes and families, will be in Guyana for 37 days altogether.
The Ambassador said it should be clear that the “CARICOM Three” scrutinizing the elections with only the support of the resident representative of the OAS, is striving not only to uphold CARICOM’s commitment to democracy but Guyana’s as well. He said therefore that their contribution must be acknowledged and appropriately honoured in due course.