People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C)’s Leader, Bharrat Jagdeo has issued a call to the incumbent President David Granger, to “rein in” his subordinates speaking ill of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government when they comment on Guyana’s ongoing electoral process.
“Mr Granger said that he has great respect for his Caribbean colleagues, but if he does, how is that every night he allows people to disparage great Caribbean leaders…And their (Caribbean leaders) only fault is that they dare to speak the truth, that is: the recount data must be used to declare the victor – which has already been decided by the Commission, itself. So, they’re (Caribbean leaders) only repeating what the Commission would have decided already,” Jagdeo said today.
Indeed, the Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Justice (Retired) Claudette Singh, had asked the Chief Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield to craft his report on the March General and Regional Elections utilizing the data that emanated from the recount. She expressed the view that the validity of the votes cast cannot be ascertained by the Commission since the body is not a court, and to act along those lines would see the elections body exceeding its powers.
CARICOM Chairperson, the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley, had expressed her opinion that the declaration should be made using the recount data, which gives the PPP/C an over-15,000 lead at the polls.
She has since faced harsh criticisms for her comments, especially from the A Partnership for National Unity + Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) camp. Some have accused her of speaking out of turn, and that her comments may influence the outcome of the appeal being mounted by the PPP/C in the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) over Guyana’s Court of Appeal two-to-one decision that it has the jurisdiction to hear the case: Esyln David v Chief Elections Officer, et al,.
Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves has also been at the receiving end of criticisms after he expressed similar views expressed by the CARICOM Chair.
Diplomats of the United States of America, Britain, Canada, and the European Union (EU), collectively referred to as the “ABCE Countries”, international observers and several US high-level political officials have all been accused by some APNU+AFC officials of encroaching on Guyana’s sovereignty.
There are some factions of society who are of the opinion that these officials have no authority to comment on Guyana’s electoral process, but other sections of the populace beg to differ. The argument is that Guyana is bound to several treaties and conventions, and therefore, such comments are prudent in promoting and preserving democracy.