The Organization of American States (OAS) has pledged unequivocal support for the “credible” results of the recount of votes cast in Guyana’s March 2020 elections. The Organization is adamant that there is now nothing stopping the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) from declaring the election.
In a statement released today, OAS noted that the report submitted by the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield on June 13, records multiple “allegations” of irregularities by a contesting party in each District, which are then used as a basis for determining that the electoral process in each of the ten Districts was not credible.
OAS stated that there is little evidence in the CEO’s report of efforts to investigate or otherwise address any of the alleged irregularities presented. OAS further noted, “His contention that the entire election be set aside on this basis alone is astonishing. In its statement of April 15, 2020, prior to the commencement of the recount, the OAS had recommended the exclusion of any official who had displayed partisan behaviour during the electoral process. While the CEO’s approach to his report is therefore disappointing, it is not unexpected.”
OAS referred to its statement of June 4, which noted that OAS observers present on each day of the national recount have reported that the process was conducted in a professional, transparent and impartial fashion, which allowed members of GECOM, political parties and other stakeholders to accurately determine the results for each polling station. OAS reiterated that there is no reason not to support the results of the recount process.
Further OAS said that it “wholly” supports the findings of the CARICOM team of scrutineers that the results of the recount were transparent and credible, and nothing prevents the Chair of the Guyana Elections Commission from now declaring the election, based on these results.
OAS said that “elections are held to determine the will of the people and once the people’s wishes are clearly stated they must be upheld – not only in instances where they favour the incumbent. In this case, the results published in the report of the Chief Elections Officer himself make it clear that the opposition PPP/C has won the favour of the majority of Guyana’s eligible voters. Their will must be respected. The OAS calls on the current administration of Guyana to begin the process of transition, which will allow the legitimately elected government to take its place.”