Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders should be firm in telling caretaker President David Granger that he has lost the elections and should spare Guyana “any further shame” by conceding defeat rather than tightening his grip on to power through fraudulent elections results.
This view was expressed by John Beale, a former Ambassador of Barbados to the US and Permanent Representative to the OAS, via an opinion piece published by Caribbean News Service on Thursday.
According to Beale, the attempts by the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition to “steal the elections” have not worked, since based on the evidence that has been presented so far, it is clear that the Opposition PPP/C has convincingly won the March 2, General and Regional Elections.
“Granger should be told by all Caricom leaders that all attempts to steal the elections have failed and are over. He should go now, put an end to the abuse of the court system, and spare Guyana any further shame,” Beale wrote in the opinion piece.
Beale added that the “dark forces” in Guyana must not be allowed to “contaminate or disgrace” other countries in CARICOM that value democracy and free and fair elections.
“This Guyana election has brought shame on Guyana, and risks tainting all of CARICOM. The matter has now been taken to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) from which the people of our region expect fairness and justice,” he added.
The former diplomat reminded that Guyana has been known for election-rigging going back to the days of Forbes Burnham, the first leader of the Peoples National Congress (PNC), which is the main party in the APNU-AFC coalition.
Beale said that the name Clairmont Mingo has already been carved in infamy in the history of Guyana.
Mingo was found to have heavily inflated votes in favour of the APNU/AFC so that Coalition would have surpassed the PPP/C’s overall lead and be declared the ‘winner’.
The former Ambassador also waded into Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, whom he said is now rivalling Mingo for “infamy.”
He noted that Lowenfield, along with President Granger, on the day of the elections, proclaimed it to be “free and fair” and all of the Elections Observer Missions agreed.
Beale explained that all that was left to be done was for the votes in each electoral district to be counted and a winner declared. He said with the PPP/C ahead after 9 of the 10 districts were counted, Mingo appeared with his “magical numbers”.
Beale related that so far, between Mingo and Lowenfield, the officials of GECOM have produced four different sets of figures at different times, not one pairing the other, but none of them matching the total votes as reflected in the statements of poll from each of the electoral districts on March 2.
He posited that Lowenfield was given the opportunity to provide a report to the Commission, in which he bold-facedly stated, with no evidence, that 115,587 votes were fraudulent, and he handed a ‘victory’ to the APNU-AFC.
Only on Friday, Chairman of CARICOM, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley fired back at her critics, telling them bluntly; “the truth hurts; and what we must never do in CARICOM is avoid the truth and avoid our principles.”
Mottley was at the time responding to a question from the Barbados media in relation to the unwarranted attacks she received for her strong stance against attempts to alter the results of the March 2 General and Regional Elections in Guyana.
In a video statement earlier in the week, PM Mottley had asserted that Lowenfield’s numbers cannot vary from those coming out of the national recount.
However, immediately after her comments were made public, the APNU/AFC Coalition went into attack mode against the Bajan PM, as they have done with all other stakeholders who have called for the results to be declared on the basis of the national recount.
The CARICOM scrutineers had certified that the PPP/C won the elections by over 15,500 votes.