Guyana stands to be expelled from OAS, Commonwealth if gov’t formed based on fraudulent results – Sir Ronald Sanders

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Sir Ronald Sanders is Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and the Organisation of American States.

Internationally-respected Caribbean academic, Sir Ronald Sanders, has warned that Guyana could be expelled from the Commonwealth and the Organisation of American States (OAS), if a government were to be sworn in on the basis of fraudulent elections results.

Speaking from Washington DC on the radio programme – Room 592 – aired on Kaieteur Radio in Georgetown, the Guyana-born diplomat explained that the same fate that countries such as Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Fiji suffered for breaching the Commonwealth Charter, could also be meted out to Guyana if it does not follow the democratic path.

“It suspended Zimbabwe, which remains suspended from the Commonwealth to this day. It suspended Fiji twice, again for elections and for military coups, for putting in place Governments that were not elected.

“And if it turns out that the result of the recount that is happening in Guyana now does not produce a Government that is reflective of the majority vote of that recount, then I am afraid Guyana will go before the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group and action will be taken,” Sanders told hosts Leonard Gildarie and Yog Mahadeo.

The Diplomat also explained that Guyana’s case is likely to be brought up before the Permanent Council of the OAS if the final results of the March 2 polls, are not deemed credible.

“Guyana risks also being suspended from the Organisation of American States, but not just being suspended, the Organisation of American States will also have to determine what other action it may take at a bilateral level of its 33 Member States acting against Guyana”.

Sanders warned; “it will only take one or two of those countries to decide that sanctions should be imposed and remember, both the United States and Canada are members of the OAS, for other countries to follow.”

It has already been over three months of controversy and a credible winner for the March 2 General and Regional Elections is yet to be declared. After two declarations from Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, which lacked transparency, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and caretaker President David Granger had agreed to have the Caribbean Community (Caricom) oversee the recount.

That agreement was derailed when A Partnership for National Unity/Alliance For Change (APNU/AFC) candidate Ulita Moore moved to the courts and secured an injunction against the exercise.

That injunction was discharged by the Full Court and later, the Full Court’s decision was upheld by the Appeals Court paving the way for the national recount to proceed.

The recount of the votes is expected to conclude by June 13 and the results are to be declared on or before June 16.

In the meantime, countries and organisations from all around the world have said that the earlier tabulation process done by the GECOM lacked credibility. This is compounded by the warnings from several Governments, including the United States’, that officials could face sanctions if a president is sworn in based on results that lack credibility.