The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) high-level team says that too often politicians on both sides of the political divide attempted to compromise the independence of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), which is the only institution with constitutional and statutory power and responsibility to undertake and oversee matters related to elections.
The team made this known in its final report on the recount of the ballots cast in the March 2 General and Regional Elections that was submitted to the GECOM Chair, Justice (retired) Claudette Singh, this morning. In it, the team said that it found nothing sufficiently lacking in the process to thwart the will of the people, or to prevent GECOM from making a declaration of the results, which are highly favourable to the political opposition, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C).
The team noted, too, the “antics of the political operatives from both within the Commission and from the political parties as they all attempted to (traditional and new) harness the media and their political capital for their own narrow and selfish political purposes”.
Also, the delegation flagged “imprudent” utterances made by some GECOM Commissioners; thus adding to the tense political environment.
“Particularly alarmed by some of the imprudent remarks made by some Commissioners to the various media outlets which in its opinion, “added to the tense political environment in the country and which unfortunately provided the public with a view of the Commission that any independent would wish to avoid”.
The team said that the constant reference to irregularities made by the commissioners could not but have a “deleterious” impact on the legitimacy of which they were a part.
“GECOM commissioners were therefore complicit in the assault on the legitimacy and independence of the institution,” the mission noted.
The team was led by Cynthia Barrow-Giles, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies (UWI), John Jarvis, Commissioner of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission and Sylvester King, the Deputy Supervisor of Elections of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Commissioners at GECOM will meet today at 1pm to continue the deliberations on the CEO’s report. The nation anticipates a declaration of results tomorrow. Elections were held on March 2.