Guyana’s President, Dr Irfaan Ali says that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the pre and post March 2020 Election periods, will see the involvement of both regional and international organisations. The Head of State made this assertion during a recent virtual interview with Jamaican Radio, out of Kingston Jamaica.
The President said that the COI is necessary to ensure that the persons who attempted to thwart the will of the people and commit electoral fraud are held accountable. The post-elections period saw numerous allegations of electoral fraud, which led to several court actions and hurdles in the final declaration of those results. A winner was finally declared some five months after the electorate took to the polls on March 2. Top Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) officials are currently under investigation by the Guyana Police Force (GPF).
“…There are many questions that have to be answered. We must have an international COI into what took place during those elections and after. I believe too that people have to be held accountable. You have to be held accountable for your actions, which caused tremendous harm to the people of Guyana and to our country,” the Head of State said.
He explained that the COI would see the involvement of regional as well as international bodies.
“I have tremendous faith in our national human assets, but I have tremendous faith also in our regional assets. We have requests from many of the international organizations such as the OAS and the Commonwealth. I think between the OAS, the Commonwealth and CARICOM we will have a great opportunity to determine a good panel to look at the COI,” the President said.
President Ali also stated that while there needs to be an investigation into the workings of the GECOM itself, there must also be a thorough examination of what transpired within this machinery.
“What took place goes beyond the Commission, to the machinery itself, the technical and professional aspects that make up the secretariat of GECOM. You had senior staff who were supposed to work and act independently. Those persons found themselves highly compromised. That is the difference here. The Commission is one issue; that is why I said in a recent interview even in the public service, persons have to decide whether you want to be a public servant, a technocrat or whether you want to be in politics,” President Ali explained.
He added: “Whilst we are working on that (COI), we are simultaneously working on these things. As you are aware, there is a criminal investigation going on now into GECOM. Some charges have already been laid, and we are also working very shortly to engage the international community and CARICOM itself on the COI.”