By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. July 15, 2020: Four other Caribbean nations have held elections and installed new governments since Guyanese voters went to the polls on March 2, 2020, but there is still no official results in the newly minted oil rich South American nation of less than a million people, 134 days after its general and regional elections.
Suriname, which held its elections on May 25th, swore in a new President on Monday, July 13, 2020. Suriname’s National Assembly voted in former justice minister and opposition leader Chan Santokhi to replace former strongman and convicted murderer, Desi Bouterse.
St. Kitts and Nevis voters went to the polls on June 5, 2020 and by June 14th, the Team Unity coalition with an almost identical cabinet was sworn in by Prime Minister Timothy Harris for a second term.
Anguillians went to the polls on June 29th and on June 30th, the results were declared that showed an opposition win while voters in the Dominican Republic went to the polls on July 6th. By July 7th the ruling party conceded defeat and electoral authorities in the Dominican Republic confirmed Luis Abinader as President-elect.
But four months plus after voters in Guyana went to the polls, the official winner has yet to be declared even as a certified recount of the election results from March 2nd showed that the country’s main opposition Peoples Progressive Party/Civic, (PPP/C,) won the elections with 233,336 votes, while the incumbent A Partnership For National Unity/Alliance For Change, (APNU/AFC) garnered 217,920 votes. The results were certified by the country’s Guyana Election Commission in its recount, overseen by international and regional observers, including CARICOM scrutineers. But the incumbent party has so far refused to allow the elections commission to officially declare the results.
As they hang on to power, the caretaker government of David Arthur Granger has used everything in its arsenal to withhold the results from being announced based on the recount results, even as funds from two oil shipments remains out of its grasp.
As global leaders, including the CARICOM community, the Commonwealth, the UN and the OAS urge Granger, dubbed a ‘sanctimonious gangster’ by former Barbados Ambassador to the US John Beale, to concede power, his handful of supporters in the country and in the US Diaspora, have continued to use the courts and social media as a tool in their blatant 21st century power grab attempt, even as the Guyana Elections Commission, (GECOM) CEO Keith Lowenfield has barefacedly presented six different election reports, each with different numbers and none reflecting the official recount tabulation.
Just shy of week after a clear CCJ ruling, the APNU/AFC support base went back to the courts again to block the results Tuesday, as APNU/AFC supporter Misegna Jones, through Attorney Mayo Robertson, filed a lawsuit in the country’s High court to seek a declaration that the Elections Commission does not have the constitutional authority to direct Lowenfield.
This despite the clear provisions of the country’s amended Election Laws of 2000, that states: “the Chief Election Officer and the Commissioner of Registration shall notwithstanding anything in any written law be subject to the direction and control of the Commission.” Chief Justice acting Roxane George will hear that case at 10 a.m. today, July 15th.
The move came as the chief election officer defied an edict Tuesday from retired Justice Claudette Singh, chair of the GECOM, to present a report that reflects the recount figures, forcing another postponement of a GECOM meeting of commissioners.
With growing poverty, COVID-19 rates, crime and frustration in the country amid continued international outcry, warnings and the request by Luis Almagro, secretary general of the Organization of American States, (OAS), to convene a meeting of the Council to address the situation of the electoral process in the CARICOM South American nation, it is not hard to predict what will come next.
One thing is crystal clear – it is that tiny, economically poor Guyana and its incumbent leaders have chosen a rogue path in the CARICOM and South American region, and the repercussions will be nothing but harsh for the caretaker government careening fast towards dictatorship with no financial or political world power having its back.