Following is an address by President David Granger on the national recount of ballots:
The Elections Commission has announced the date on which the total national recount of the ballots cast at 2nd March 2020 General and Regional Elections will begin.
I welcome the Commission’s announcement. The entire nation is awaiting the completion of the recount of the ballots and the declaration of the results by the Elections Commission.
I have said, repeatedly, that I shall accept the declaration of the results by the Elections Commission, which will allow for a democratically elected government to be sworn-in to office.
The General and Regional Elections were free, fair and orderly. Subsequent events resulted in the prolongation of the electoral process well beyond the deadline for the declaration of results. That prolongation was occasioned by a delay owing to legal challenges in the Supreme Court of Judicature and the Court of Appeal.
I have complied always with the rulings of the Courts. I have never interfered, intervened or intruded in the work of the Elections Commission; its independence is respected, and I have upheld always the Constitution of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, which is the supreme law of the land.
I await the declaration of the elections’ results.
I had agreed on 15th March, “…that a total recount of the ballots from all electoral districts in Regions One to Ten would take place urgently and in accordance with the Constitution, the applicable law and the judgment of the Court issued by Roxanne George Chief Justice (ag.) on Wednesday 11 March 2020.”
I had agreed, also, that a High-Level Team from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) would be allowed to function only within the framework of the Constitution, under the aegis of the Commission and the rulings of the Court.
The CARICOM approved and arranged for a High-Level Team to travel to Guyana. The Team was expected to observe the recount and submit its report to the Chairman or Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community. The Team was unable to do so owing to the unresolved legal issues related to the national recount. The Courts have since ruled.
Guyanese, I am satisfied that the hurdles have been cleared for the Elections Commission to conduct the recount and that the Commission’s Secretariat is prepared fully to execute its mandate.
I am pleased to learn that a CARICOM High-Level Team has arrived in Guyana to observe the recount process in response to the Commission’s request. The Elections Commission must be allowed to do its work in accordance with the Constitution.
I urge all Guyanese to be patient as we await the outcome of the national recount.