Guyana is not an isolated state but one operating within the confines of a regional and geopolitical frame with established diplomatic relationships and seeking to demonstrate an abidance for international laws and conventions. As a result, the support and assistance rendered by the international community must be consistent with the Constitution and relevant Laws of Guyana, including the Guyana Elections Commission’s (GECOM). This is important in order to arrive at a credible recount as determined within our legal frame work.
The Law is the only mechanism in ensuring mutual respect and peaceful co-existence, local and international. It is not to be violated by Guyanese nor by those who believe “international dictatorship” is the new format for bilateral encounters. It is evident some within the diplomatic community lack diplomatic finesse and are no longer about nations exercising choice, but rather about nations kneeling before their dictates and delivering without question in accordance with their wishes.
Guyana might as well be a colony of those who embrace this new trend of “international dictatorship.” It is in this rather disturbing context Ambassador for the European Union Fernando Ponz Canto is condemned for his recent pronouncements in sections of the media that Guyana’s elections “was impossible to cheat.” As far as he was concerned, every other observer was of the same opinion therefore that was sufficient proof of the credibility of the process. What his intellect fails to recognise is that many Guyanese are smart enough to recognise that what appears to be many sources speaking in unity is in fact emanating from one source.
He ignores the observation reports emanating from the recount process that shows anomalies after anomalies. Not only pertaining to alleged votes by dead persons and persons not in the jurisdiction but also more votes cast at certain locations than voters on the Official List of Electors; missing documents to determine the validity of the vote cast against an official identified voter, votes cast without proper identification or an affidavit of identity, absence of polling books to validate the many questionable occurrences that transpired within the particular polling station; boxes without seals and boxes at various polling stations with documents from another polling station.
The stated anomalies seemed to escape the Ambassador or are not according to his intellectual understanding evidence of cheating. Yet the same Ambassador is quick to pontificate on the process, which he and other observers witnessed in the Region Four count which he considers wrong. A process of tabulation that was no different than that which occurred in several other regions as reported in a court of law but which was only found to be wrong for and challenged in the Region Four process.
From where does Ambassador Canto get the authority to determine how Guyana must move forward in its elections declaration? This is yet another show of lack of integrity and total disregard for the Order governing the recount, which expressly sets out among other considerations the following:
“AND WHEREAS the Guyana Elections Commission, in exercise of the authority vested in it under Article 162 of the Constitution and pursuant to Section 22 of the Elections Laws (Amendment) Act, No. 15 of 2000, seeks to remove difficulties connected with the application of the Representation of the People Act, Chapter 1:03, in implementing its decisions relating to the conduct of the aforementioned recount of all ballots cast at the said elections, including the reconciliation of the ballots issued with the ballots cast, destroyed, spoiled, stamped, and as deemed necessary, their counterfoils/stubs; authenticity of the ballots and the number of voters listed and crossed out as having voted; the number of votes cast without ID cards; the number of proxies issued and the number utilised; statistical anomalies; occurrences recorded in the Poll Book.”
As per said Order, this consideration along with others will collectively serve to determine any declaration to be made. The foregoing clearly establishes the recount is not about simple numbers but a more complex and complete evaluation to determine factors impacting the count. The opposition and the international community speaking the same language is now limiting the credibility of the elections to a numerical count in direct rejection of the gazetted Order. This is lawlessness and we should be disturbed by it. Unfortunately, Guyanese have become so polarised that it is being ignored how important law and order are for our mutual well-being, here and abroad.
Some in the diplomatic community have shifted the goal post from screaming transparency on the 5th of March. When transparency was met in accordance with the court’s ruling, they screamed credibility. Now that GECOM has sought to establish credibility, for them it is only about a numerical count equivalent to doing a math problem and arriving at a correct answer using a very flawed process.
Some are making the same mistake that they made in interpreting the Consequential Order of the Caribbean Court of Justice on the no confidence vote. This is not accident; it is designed to influence thinking and action not premised on law and order that will not augur well for us in the long run.
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