The Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) has called on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to immediately move towards having the national recount of votes cast at the March polls completed expeditiously in order to have a credible winner declared.
In a statement, the LJP said it is disappointed with the slow pace in which the electoral body is moving without due regard for the current COVID-19 pandemic which is “slowly engulfing the country and the looming mental health and economic crises that are on our doorsteps”.
“We are offended as the rest of the nation is, of the sloth’s pace at which the Commission is dragging and torturing this nation through this process,” the party said.
The party has also urged GECOM to “exclude Mr Clairmont Mingo and all the associated partisan figures” from the recount process.
It is now fifty-one (51) days after the national elections were held and GECOM is yet to announce a date for the beginning of the recount of the votes, saying that it is now awaiting the finalising of logistical arrangements for the arrival of the CARICOM team of observers, before announcing a date.
After two declarations from Region Four’s (Demerara-Mahaica) Returning Officer Clairmont Mingo, which lacked transparency, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo and caretaker President David Granger had agreed to have 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.
GECOM has since re-invited Caricom to observe the recount process, but so far it is not yet known when the team would arrive.
Following is the full statement from LJP:
The Liberty and Justice Party hereby calls on the Guyana Elections Commission to cease toying with the psyche of the nation and to move to expeditiously recount the votes.
It has been over 7 weeks since the ballots were cast on 2 March 2020 in Regional and General Elections and yet the country waits for legitimately and transparently tabulated electoral results in keeping with the Representation of the People Act.
With the current pandemic slowly engulfing the country and the looming mental health and economic crises that are on our doorsteps, we are offended as the rest of the nation is of the sloth’s pace at which the Commission is dragging and torturing this nation through this process.
The offensive act of Mr Nagamootoo in his action against the High-Level Team from CARICOM is offensive to the nation as much as it was offensive our CARICOM Partners. To abdicate one’s governing responsibility to the likes of Mr Nagamootoo, GECOM has finally removed the final veneer and pretence of being an “Independent Constitutional Commission.” By its actions, the Guyana Elections Commission has clearly demonstrated its bias.
Having witnessed workers working on the APNU aligned Ocean View Hotel beyond 6 pm daily and confining the recount of the Nation’s votes to the dictates of Mr Nagamootoo demonstrates a genuine and desperate act by this administration to deny the Guyanese people of their legitimately elected government.
That a recount of 479 453 votes, when calculated based on GECOM’s last presented framework, will take upwards of 46 days, and the fact that no start date has yet been announced nor any logistics put in places further exacerbates the impending mental health crisis from the Pandemic, the economic meltdown and these poorly executed elections.
We further call on the GECOM to present to the Nation, a clear plan on the recount inclusive of the proposed end date of the recount and to take every action necessary to exclude Mr Clairmont Mingo and all the associated partisan figures from these recounts.
It is time that Madam Chair showed her calibre, lived up to her name, stop playing PNC games and stop toying with the nation.