New CARICOM Chair lauds Mottley for defending democracy in Guyana

Ralph Gonsalves, CARICOM Chair

…in face of “vulgar and opportunistic criticisms”

New CARICOM Chair, Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr Ralph Gonsalves on Friday praised the work of his colleague, outgoing CARICOM Chair, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, for her “brilliant leadership” more particularly, her efforts in attempting to resolve the political impasse in Guyana in spite of the “unwarranted” attacks against her by certain elements “who ought to know better”.

“Her helpful initiatives [to] assist in the preservation of democracy in Guyana within the terms of the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society will be long remembered, despite unwarranted, vulgar and opportunistic criticisms of her from jaundiced sources who ought to know better,” Gonsalves said.

Mottley, had firmly stated that CARICOM expects the results of the elections to be declared on the basis of the national recount which was certified as credible by a CARICOM Observation Team.

She had also expressed concern over Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield’s attempt to discard over 115,000 valid votes and hand a ‘victory’ to the APNU/AFC in spite of the recount results showing that the PPP/C has won the elections.

However, in response, the incumbent APNU/AFC Coalition launched a tirade against the Barbados PM.

“I have asked my friend Mia Mottley to continue her leadership work in several of these areas during my Chairmanship,” Gonsalves said.

CARICOM Heads of Government are presently holding a special conference today (Friday July 3).

Barbados Prime Minister Mottley has officially handed over the six-month Chairmanship to Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

Earlier, during PM Mottley’s presentation, she made it clear that there are certain democratic values the region stands for based on the CARICOM Charter of Civil Society, a main one being the holding of free and fair elections.

She said that it is “regrettable” that today, July 3rd – more than four months after the General and Regional Elections were held in Guyana – a credible winner is yet to be declared.

Dr Gonsalves, during a NBC Radio Programme had warned that the regional bloc will not tolerate the “stealing” of an election, nor allow the results from the recount process to be set aside.

“I am satisfied that CARICOM will not stand by idly and watch the recount which was properly done for the results to be set aside,” Mr Gonsalves had expressed.

The Caribbean Community has 15 Member States – Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Guyana, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, and five Associate Members – Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.