This is a historic moment for the best display of Guyanese Ethical and Transformational Leadership of the highest calibre.
The Roraima Institute (TRI) is a Washington-based, Guyanese ‘Think Tank’ that supports Democracy and the Rule of Law. Further, we believe that democratic norms and institutions is an integral part of a country’s growth and development; and that for underdevelopment and racism to die, democracy must live and flourish.
In a modern democracy, no citizen should be disenfranchised from his/her right to vote, or the right to have that vote counted. To this end, we are calling for a recount of all votes cast in Region 4 and the declaration of a winner.
Whoever is sworn in as President must immediately convoke all political parties and civil society organizations to a Table of Patriotic Governance (TPG) to agree on an agenda to address the imminent threat of Coronavirus Pandemic to all, Ethnic Justice – Equality and Democratic Governance Bottom Top – Top Bottom.
Guyana must move forward not backwards. There must be implementation of achievable goals within 100 days. This must not be entangled by bureaucracy, or the narrow interests of, personality, political parties and civil society organizations.
First, we call on the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM) to complete the tabulation of all votes in a credible and transparent manner using the official Statements of Poll (SOPs) signed by GECOM’s returning officer and by all contesting parties. If there are disagreements over the official SOPs then we suggest opening the ballot boxes and recounting the votes in the presence of impartial observers and political parties’ representatives.
Given the high stakes and the contentious nature of these elections, The Roraima Institute (TRI) firmly believes that anything less than full transparency and a credible recount process will invite an avalanche of protests, condemnations, allegations of fraud and deception, and would call into question the legitimacy of the winner.
The cold war is over. Guyana cannot sustain itself with an illegitimate government at this juncture: Coronavirus Pandemic, decreasing revenues from oil and other commodities in a global recession, the Guyana/Venezuela Border Problem, the Geopolitical escalation in the relations between the Western World and Venezuela; and a President in Brazil who will work very closely with the President of USA to ensure stability and Security in the Guyana Geo-Political Neighbourhood.
The resulting chaos would curtail the country’s growth and development and set Guyana back for many, many years to come.
Regardless of the outcome, this election has underscored the crucial need for a national dialogue on Racial Equality-Justice, Democratic Governance and Structural Transformation. From Independence to the present moment, the delicate balance of race relations has festered like a sore that no one wanted to touch.
Now this sore has been exposed, engulfing us all and threatening to destabilize our fledgling democracy. No one will be spared. In the words of Martin Carter “all are involved, all are consumed”.
The discovery of oil in Guyana’s Atlantic basin has exacerbated the underlying racial tensions and has brought to the fore the palpable fear of permanent marginalization or domination by either of the major ethnic groups over the rest of the country.
In light of these developments, The Roraima Institute (TRI) is reiterating its call for a recount of all votes cast in Region 4, the declaration of a winner; followed immediately by the convoking of all political parties and civil society organizations to a Table of Patriotic Governance (TPG).
It is our firm belief that the winner take-all model with its pernicious underpinnings has failed Guyana miserably. What we have witnessed is a game of political football between the two major ethnic groups where there are no winners, only losers, i.e. the people of Guyana of all ethnic backgrounds without exception. It is time to offer a new approach, one that offers hope to all of Guyana’s citizens
The Roraima Institute
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