Democracy delayed is democracy denied – Sir Sanders

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Internationally-respected Caribbean academic Sir Ronald Sanders told the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) on Tuesday that democracy in Guyana is being delayed by a cabal that is desperately trying to hold on to power through any means necessary.

The OAS Permanent Council yesterday met to discuss Guyana’s electoral crisis – where presentations were made by a number of stakeholders including the Head of the OAS EOM Bruce Golding, the caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Karen Cummings, Attorney General Basil Williams, and representatives from the Peoples Progressive Party Civic (PPP/C) such as Mark Phillips and Anil Nandlall.

In delivering his remarks, Sir Sanders – who is the Antigua and Barbuda representative to the OAS – highlighted the fact that APNU/AFC’s associates continue to drag out the election process by continuously returning to the court.

He pointed to the ruling of the Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George who urged lawyers to stop wasting the courts time on issues are that res judicata, ie already adjudicated by the court.
Notwithstanding her appeal, the APNU/AFC has move, once again, to the courts in a bid to delay the conclusion of the electoral process.

“This new appeal and its consequences could take until September 1, before the full cycle of hearings and judgements end. Democracy is being delayed. And democracy delayed is democracy denied,” Sir Sanders said.

“It should be noted that GECOM has not been able to declare a result for the electoral process, because supporters APNU/AFC are encouraged to take the matters to the courts again and again and again. Were this not so, GECOM could have made a declaration long ago,” Sanders told the OAS.

He further informed the OAS that, despite genuine efforts from the organisations like the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), to help Guyana resolve the election, these efforts have failed. Sanders made it clear that democracy is being threatened and the loss of democracy in Guyana has implications for the entire region.

In fact, Sanders urged the OAS to keep Guyana’s political controversy on the agenda and to return to it and take further action if deemed necessary by the OAS Chairman. While he did not specify what form this further action should take, observers have opined that Guyana’s election impasse could see Guyana being expelled from the OAS.