OAS Urges GECOM to Conclude Guyana’s Electoral Process

WASHINGTON – The Organization of American States (OAS) has reiterated its call for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to move forward in concluding the country’s disputed March 2 regional and general elections “based on the results of the national recount, and in accordance with the will of the majority of the electorate”.

The OAS said that the decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) on Wednesday confirmed that GECOM has the final authority to declare these elections and that the Chief Elections Officer is required to comply with the Commission’s directives in this regard.

“The OAS notes and commends the instructions of the GECOM Chair, retired justice Claudette Singh issued on July 9 and reiterated on July 10, that the Chief Elections Officer should prepare and submit his report using the results generated by the national recount,” the statement said.

“Regrettably, developments over the last two days suggest that efforts continue to avoid compliance with these obligations and to further prolong the term of the current government,” it added.

The OAS said that one of the principal obstacles to completing Guyana’s current electoral process is “a person whose duty it is to defend Guyana’s democracy through ensuring respect for the results of elections.”

In reiterating its statement on the national recount, the OAS said “GECOM should exclude from the current electoral process, and indeed from all future electoral processes, those persons whose actions display clear partisan bias, and who apply this bias unreservedly in hindering the natural unfolding of the democratic process in Guyana.

“A credible conclusion of the 2020 elections is essential if Guyana is to remain a democracy,” the OAS said. “The OAS will continue to support the efforts of the people of Guyana towards this end.”

Singh, Friday informed the Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, he should use revisit her letter of July 9 to prepare his report that would start the process of releasing the official results of the disputed March 2 regional and general election

Lowenfield had earlier written to Singh indicating that he needed guidance as to whether the report should be premised on Section 18 of the Election Laws or on Article 177 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“In response to your request for guidance on which the results of the march 2,2020 Elections can be declared, you are accordingly advised that my letter dated July 9, 2020 stands,” Singh responded, informing Lowenfield “you are therefore required to submit your report by 11.00 hrs on 11th July 2020”.

CMC

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