GECOM should remove persons whose actions display clear bias – OAS

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Luis Almagro, Secretary General of OAS

The Guyana Elections Commission should “exclude from the current electoral process, and indeed from all future electoral processes, those persons whose actions display clear partisan bias, and who apply this bias unreservedly in hindering the natural unfolding of the democratic process in Guyana”.

This is according to the Organization of American States (OAS) in a statement issued on Friday.

The OAS was at the time commenting on the recent developments in Guyana’s electoral process, lauding the GECOM Chair Justice Claudette Singh’s instructions to the Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield.

The CEO has, however, been refusing to follow the instructions of the GECOM Chair to compile and submit his final elections report using the recount results. He has now been given by 11am tomorrow to do so.

Chief Elections Officer Keith Lowenfield

See full statement from the OAS:

In our most recent press statement, on June 23, 2020, the OAS encouraged the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to move forward in concluding Guyana’s electoral process, based on the results of the national recount, and in accordance with the will of the majority of the electorate.

The decision of the Caribbean Court of Justice on July 8, 2020 confirmed that GECOM has the final authority to declare these elections and that the Chief Elections Officer is required to comply with the Commission’s directives in this regard. The OAS notes and commends the instructions of the GECOM Chair, Justice Claudette Singh (ret’d), issued on July 9 and reiterated on July 10, that the Chief Elections Officer should prepare and submit his report using the results generated by the national recount.

Regrettably, developments over the last two days suggest that efforts continue to avoid compliance with these obligations and to further prolong the term of the current government. The OAS notes that one of the principal obstacles to completing Guyana’s current electoral process is a person whose duty it is to defend Guyana’s democracy through ensuring respect for the results of elections. As already suggested in our April 15 press statement on the national recount, GECOM should exclude from the current electoral process, and indeed from all future electoral processes, those persons whose actions display clear partisan bias, and who apply this bias unreservedly in hindering the natural unfolding of the democratic process in Guyana.

A credible conclusion of the 2020 elections is essential if Guyana is to remain a democracy. The OAS will continue to support the efforts of the people of Guyana towards this end.