Leader of Liberty and Justice Party (LJP) Lenox Shuman, says it is unfortunate that though Guyana gained independence before neighbouring Suriname, that country has managed to hold credible and democratic elections.
“It is unfortunate that 54 years after we would have gained independence that were at this juncture only to be outdone by our neighbours, who nine years after us gained independence, and produced electoral results with integrity two days after,” Shuman told the media gathered outside the Arthur Chung Convention Centre (ACCC), the venue of the national recount of votes cast in the March 2, polls.
“Suriname gained independence in 1975, Guyana gained independence in 1966 and here we are being schooled by a younger State in how we can execute a democratic process,” he added.
Guyanese went to the polls on March 2, 2020 and elections results are yet to be declared. Instead, the tabulation process has been marred by irregularities, resulting in several court actions and now a national recount.
Suriname voted on Monday and results are expected to be declared tonight.
Shuman, added that today – Independence Day- should have been one of celebration as a nation, but it is quite unfortunate that the basic element in what constitutes a democratic, independent state is being under threat.
“Here we are fifty-four years later, that the very tenets, the underpinnings of what constitutes an independent, democratic state is under threat,” Shuman said.
He drew the media’s attention to events at the ACCC, where he said there are deliberate attempts to delay the national recount.
“What we have seen inside the ACCC is a continued delaying process, to undermine the legitimate, elected government that should emanate out of this process”.
He, however expressed hope that once the recount process is completed, there would be renewed efforts by all parties to work towards achieving national unity and moving the country forward.
“It is our hope that out of this process, a new Guyana will emerge, a Guyana where all are included. Where everyone feels that they are part of a society where they could benefit from; and that we could look to the future progressively”.
The LJP leader also noted that while Guyana has made significant progress in many fronts since Independence, there is still much work to do in unifying the nation.
“The first quest that we should be on is unity,” he noted, adding that no single group could say they have the formula to do achieve this aim.