CARICOM will not tolerate the setting aside of recount results – Incoming Chair

Ralph Gonsalves

Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves – who is also the incoming Chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) – has made it clear that the regional bloc will not tolerate the setting aside of the recount results.

“I am satisfied that CARICOM will not stand by idly and watch the recount which was properly done for the results to be set aside,” Mr Gonsalves said during an NBC Radio Programme on Wednesday.

“We expect the CARICOM observer mission to deliver its report and we expect that what is the recount would be honoured and that the Guyana Elections Commission will honour that and declare a winner in accordance with this recount,” he added.

A three-member delegation from CARICOM was on the ground during the 34-days recount exercise and they are expected to compile a report of its observations.

The recount exercise shows that the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) won the elections, garnering a total of 233,336 votes – a difference of 15,416 over its main political rival, the incumbent A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) Coalition.

“When you take part in an election, there is always a chance that you will lose, and if you lose, like sir Arthur [Lewis] said: ‘Take your licks like a man’,” the incoming CARICOM Chair remarked.

Gonsalves is expected to assume chairmanship of CARICOM next month. The current Chair, Mia Mottley has already taken a firm stance against any undemocratic government. The Barbadian Prime Minister had expressed that “any government which is sworn in without a credible and fully transparent vote count process would lack legitimacy”.

Gonsalves expressed similar sentiments, noting that “CARICOM is not going to tolerate anybody stealing an election.”

He further posited that St Vincent and the Grenadines “stands firmly for democracy and reflecting the will of the people.”