Suriname moves ahead with new President, but Granger refuses to accept loss in Guyana

President Desi Bouterse will transfer power to incoming President Chan Santokhi

Guyana’s neighbour, Suriname, is moving forward steadily with its transition to a new government following the country’s General Elections on May 25, 2020.

According to a report by StarNieuws, earlier today (Monday), Chan Santokhi was elected President and Ronnie Brunswijk as Vice President of the Dutch-speaking nation.

The extraordinary meeting to have this process finalised was attended by all political groups, so that more than 34 members were present in the room. Even though there are no counter-candidates, the qualified majority is required to be declared legally elected.

The extraordinary public meeting was led by Assembly Chairman Ronnie Brunswijk at the opening. After appointment of the polling station, led by Krishna Mathoera, Brunswijk transferred the hammer to Vice President Dew Sharman, as he is a candidate himself.

Mathoera announced that the nomination has been done correctly. The required documents have also been found to be correct. Sharman determined that Santokhi has been elected President and Brunswijk as Vice President, StarNieuws reported.

According to StarNieuws, the meeting was attended by President Desi Bouterse and Vice President Ashwin Adhin. The official transfer of power will take place on Thursday allowing the country to move ahead with its development plans.

The General Elections in Suriname were held on May 25, and within days, the results were declared and accepted by all parties.

President Bouterse had conceded defeat for the sake of allowing his country to move forward, but it is the opposite for his counterpart in Guyana.

Guyana’s President David Granger, has tightened his grip on power even though the results of a national recount have confirmed that his ruling party was massively defeated by over 15,000 votes.

Granger’s APNU/AFC Coalition was defeated twice – first in a no-confidence vote in the Parliament in December 2018 and then at the March 2 national elections.

After prolonging the elections for more than a year following the no-confidence vote, the elections were finally held on March 2, 2020.

It is now close to five months since the electorate voted but credible results are yet to be declared even though they are widely known and certified by all stakeholders, including the parties themselves and local and international observers.

The national recount results, which constitute data generated from the 2,339 Statements of Recount (SORs), show that the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) won polls with 233,336 votes cast in its favour.

GECOM’s Chief Elections Officer, Keith Lowenfield, is blatantly refusing to carry out the directive of Chairperson, Justice (Rtd) Claudette Singh to use the certified recount results as the basis to prepare his report for final declaration, as ordered by the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).

In fact, on several occasions, he presented concocted numbers which sought to hand a false victory to Granger’s APNU/AFC Coalition.

Calls are mounting from several quarters for Lowenfiled to be dismissed for his partisan actions in order for a new CEO to be appointed and to be directed to produce a credible report so that the elections could be declared.

International powers have threatened sanctions against anyone found to be involved in any action that seeks to undermine Guyana’s democracy.