CARICOM Team rejects efforts to discredit 2020 polls, urges aggrieved parties to file an elections petition

Guyanese at a polling place in Georgetown on March 2, 2020

Having established that the recount exercise was credible and reflected the will of the people, the high-level team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has rejected all efforts to discredit the 2020 polls in Guyana.

“The national recount process, despite some of its administrative failings, despite some of its minor flaws, is not an indictment of the 2020 polls, and the Team categorically rejects the concerted public efforts to discredit the 2020 polls up to the disastrous Region 4 tabulation,” the Team noted in its report submitted to GECOM.

“Despite our concerns, nothing that we witnessed, warrants a challenge to the inescapable conclusion that the recount results are acceptable and should constitute the basis of the declaration of the results, of the March 02, 2020 elections. Any aggrieved political party has been afforded the right to seek redress before the courts in an elections petition,” the Team posited.

The CARICOM Team submitted its report on the national recount to the Guyana Elections Commission today, one day before the entity is expected to declare the winners of the 2020 General and Regional Elections.

Caretaker President David Granger had asserted that he is confident in CARICOM’s ability and integrity; he further supported sentiments that the Group was the most important interlocutory in the recount process.

The national recount was agreed upon by Granger and Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo – following a series of fraudulent declarations made by Returning Officer for District Four Clairmont Mingo who had repeatedly attempted to alter the results of the election in favour of the APNU/AFC Coalition.

Meanwhile, the CARICOM Team, in its report, admitted that there were some procedural irregularities, however, they are not “sufficient nor substantial cause, to call the 2020 results into question”.

The Team further noted that there was nothing emanating from the recount activity that thwarted the will of the people who cast their ballots on March 2.

The CARICOM Team comprises Sylvester King, Deputy Supervisor of Elections of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cynthia Barrow-Giles, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Government at the University of the West Indies (UWI) and John Jarvis, Commissioner of the Antigua and Barbuda Electoral Commission.