Caribbean

Guyana’s President Appeals for Patience As Country Awaits Results of Elections Held Three Weeks Ago

President David Granger

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Monday March 23, 2020 – Three weeks after Guyanese cast ballots in general and regional elections, President David Granger has urged citizens to be patient and calm.

Following
another judicial hearing in the Supreme Court last Friday, the President
addressed the nation, saying that Guyana’s democracy has allowed for interested
parties to approach the Supreme Court for judicial review of the electoral
laws.

That legal
process is still ongoing he stated, noting that “we must await the ruling of
the Court.”

“The
electoral process is incomplete. I call upon the members of the public to
respect the role of the Elections Commission and to desist from attacks on the
Chairman, Commissioners and members of the Commission. The Elections Commission
has the sole authority for the conduct of General and Regional elections and
must be allowed to function independent of political interference, instruction
and influence,” he said.

Thee
Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Retired Justice Claudette
Singh and the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield appeared in court last
Friday to respond to an injunction filed by private citizen Ulita Grace Moore,
preventing the commission from moving ahead with a national recount of the
votes from the March 2 polls.

That
injunction, however, remains as the court will be considering the joinder of a
few more applications in the matter when it meets again today.

President
Granger, in his address, reiterated his commitment to respect Guyana’s
Constitution, to protect the integrity of the Chairman and members of the
Elections Commission and to obey the rulings of the Courts.

“I am
confident that these institutions, once allowed to function without
interference, will provide a solution to the present situation. I have
maintained that the electoral process must be credible. Free and fair elections
are essential to representative democracy,” he said.

Granger
again related his disappointment that the CARICOM high-level team had to leave
Guyana before the total national recount was conducted. That process, he
reminded, was stymied due to the injunction brought against GECOM.

“Elections are as much about the totality of votes as about the quality of relations among citizens. I urge all Guyanese, therefore, to respect each other as we work together to build a cohesive nation. Violence in any form, at any time and in any place, particularly against innocent school children must be condemned strongly,” the Head of State said.

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