The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) has issued a call to all Guyanese to be calm and peaceful and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) deliberate the Cheif Elections Officer (CEO)’s final report on the March General and Regional Elections. It is expected that a declaration will be made on June 16.

See full statement below:

The Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), like all Guyanese, is mindful of the extended period it has taken thus far for the results of the March 02, 2020, General and Regional elections to be declared.

The Commission is also mindful of the discontent the wait for the declaration has inevitably precipitated among our people and concerns that eventually led to a national recount of ballots cast.

As a Commission birthed out of political discord and which is constitutionally mandated to foster harmony and good relations, it was extremely heartened when H.E. President David Granger and Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, agreed to the national recount of ballots under the auspices of CARICOM.

Despite challenges, the recount has ended, the obligatory report by the Chief Elections Officer has been submitted and the nation awaits an announcement by the Chairperson of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM). The Commission therefore wishes to take this opportunity to urge all Guyanese to remain calm and to demonstrate a profound sense of tolerance and respect in view of the significant announcement expected from GECOM.

This crucial call for calm and peace comes within the historical context of what unfortunately transpired during elections; the vitriol, divisive and inciting rhetoric on social media; undesirable public pronouncements by some involved and in keeping with the Commission’s own call prior to and immediately after March 02.

The Commission, in a press statement on March 04, 2020, which alluded to its initial findings having observed the electoral process in some Polling Stations in parts of Regions, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 10, commended the collective efforts of all involved for ensuring that democracy was safeguarded and prevailed during the said process.

In addition, the Commission, having pointed out that overall, on elections day voters were able to freely cast their ballots in an atmosphere of peace and that the few instances which necessitated the intervention of law enforcement, were timely resolved, the voting and counting processes observed, were found, despite some minor hiccups, to be free, fair and transparent.

The adherence of those processes to the basic tenets of democracy is vital to the promotion of unity, national harmony and good relations. While anxieties unavoidably prevail over the impending announcement and what it can possibly derive, the Commission calls upon the leaders and members of all political parties, civil society organizations, constitutional bodies and Guyanese in general, to act in a responsible manner in an effort to safeguard the interest of Guyana and all of its citizens.

The ERC also urges that the results, when announced, be respected and reiterates its call for the implementation of a necessary collective effort from all national stakeholders endeavouring to build a cohesive and prosperous nation.
All are encouraged to do his/her best to ensure that peace and harmony prevail and that the interest of Guyana and Guyanese is placed foremost.


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