Former ACP Secretary General adds voice for recount of votes in Guyana

Ambassador Patrick Ignatius Gomes

Former Guyanese Secretary General of the African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) bloc, Dr Patrick Ignatius Gomes, is the latest respected international figure to caution the David Granger-led administration against the pitfalls of having a president be declared based on results that lack transparency and credibility.

Guyana held its General and Regional Elections on March 2, 2020 but a month later, the Guyana Elections Commission  (GECOM) is yet to declare a winner. Controversy erupted, bringing a halt to the process following the questionable declarations made by the Region 4 Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo; which resulted in a string of legal challenges.

Chief Justice (ag) Roxane George and Justice Nareshwar Harnanan

The Full Court, on Tuesday, denied application for leave for the parties to appeal its ruling on the vote recount case in which it dismissed the injunctions blocking the recount of the votes cast in the March 2, General and Regional Elections.

Tuesday’s rulings by the Full Court, compromising Chief Justice Roxane George and Justice Harnanan, now paves the way for the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to proceed with the recount now that all the legal hurdles have been crossed.

According to Dr Gomes “the time has long passed for leaders of all political parties to give an unequivocal commitment that transparent, verified and reliable results from a re-count of our March 2, 2020, General and Regional Elections shall be accepted in their entirety as the legal basis for a democratically elected government to assume office without further delay.”

He was adamant “the urgent resolution of this political impasse is essential to keep our place in history as a proud, self-respecting and law-abiding member of the Caribbean Community, who generously offered assistance; and also as a key member of that inter-continental, inter-governmental organisation of  79 African, Caribbean and Pacific States, whose navel string in the Georgetown Agreement of 1975, has given continuing solidarity to all peoples of the Global South in the fight to end poverty and achieve sustainable and equitable development.”

According to Dr Gomes, “the hand of friendship from our CARICOM neighbours, needs to be encouraged and not appear as almost insulted, making it necessary for the CARICOM Team to leave prematurely….Let the recount begin and credible, verifiable evidence give us the lawfully elected government that our forefathers and mothers fought for and this and future generations deserve.”

Dr Gomes, served as Secretary-General of the ACP Group of States, from March 1, 2015 and ended on March 1, 2020.